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City's planned new low-emissions zone to take 20,000 cars off the street a day within the first five years

City's planned new low-emissions zone to take 20,000 cars off the street a day within the first five years
  • Malaga city hall's plan to ban polluting vehicles from the city centre estimates a reduction of 50% in harmful particles

Malaga city council's plan to create a low-emission zone to reduce pollution in the historic centre and its adjacent neighbourhoods will have an immediate effect, according to the study promoted by the Urban Environment Observatory (OMAU) published this week. Its analysis estimates that in the first five years of the so-called Málaga Central plan, some 20,000 vehicles per day will be removed from the area because they do not meet the required environmental standards.

As SUR reported, this plan, required as part of the EU's policy to reduce emissions, consists of delimiting a large area of between 350 and 400 hectares from which the most polluting vehicles will be banned (only those with Zero, ECO, C and B stickers allowed). Entry points into the zone will be fitted which cameras which crossreference number plates with the vehicle database.

The city council estimates that this would result in a 10 per cent reduction in traffic through the area, and that some 20,000 vehicles would no longer drive through the area every day. Currently around 200,000 vehicles pass through on a working day. However, the study notes that there would be exceptions for residents and authorised vehicles.

In this first short-term stage, the analysis, carried out by the Estudio 7 consultancy, estimates that carbon dioxide levels could be reduced by 30%, carbon monoxide by 42%, nitrogen gases by 51% and PM10 particles by 50%.

A second, medium-term stage, which the study sets for 2030, envisages tightening restrictions so that only vehicles with a Zero, Eco or C label would be allowed to enter, meaning that vehicles with a B label or without a sticker would not be allowed to do so. This would imply a 15% reduction in traffic, which would mean taking 10,000 more vehicles out of the area each day.

And a third stage to be reached by 2035 would mean that only vehicles with Zero or Eco vehicles would be allowed to circulate, which, depending on the estimated evolution of the city's vehicle fleet, would mean a 20% reduction in traffic, with a further 10,000 vehicles per day also no longer being allowed to circulate in Málaga Central.