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Madrid smog ban on cars with even or odd number plates

Police checking traffic entering Spain's capital on Thursday.
Police checking traffic entering Spain's capital on Thursday. / EFE

For the first time in Spain, some vehicles have been banned from the centre of a city to try to reduce pollution levels.

From yesterday until further notice, half the vehicles that normally enter central Madrid will have to stay at home depending on whether they have an odd or even registration number. On odd days of the month, the odd-numbered cars and lorries can travel and on even days the even-numbered vehicles can travel. However, because of the holiday traffic today and tomorrow, the ban has been temporarily suspended.

The restrictions have become necessary due to the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere trapped by high pressure and is already used in other world cities. Certain types of vehicles are exempt, including motorbikes, cars with three or more people, refuse lorries and hearses, among others.