Friday, 3 November 2023, 08:08
Torremolinos will introduce a “complete urban regeneration” of the town centre over the coming years, an initiative that includes a low emissions zone for vehicles (ZBE). From 1 January 2024, around 175,000 square metres of the central area of the Costa del Sol town will have traffic restrictions in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The municipality will become one of the first in the province of Malaga that has a ZBE designed to comply with Spain's Climate Change Law, which will come into force at the beginning of next year and which affects all the country's municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants.
This was announced this week by the town’s mayor, Margarita del Cid, who said the zone will be installed around the pedestrianised Plaza Costa del Sol, the streets around Plaza de La Nogalera, Plaza de Andalucía and Plaza Pablo Ruiz Picasso, and in Avenida de los Manantiales, and Calles Río Mesa and Río Aranda.
“One of the main objectives of Torremolinos for the coming years is the complete renovation of the town from an urban regeneration point of view. This involves, among other aspects, the reduction of pollution and noise in areas saturated by vehicles, which means an improvement in air quality and acoustic quality. In this way, our short-term commitment is to reduce greenhouse gases by more than 40 per cent in areas that have the highest traffic flow,” Del Cid explained.
However, category O registered vehicles (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), will not be restricted in these areas, but vehicles lacking an environmental label (eco sticker) will be prohibited from the ZBE.
Owners of houses in these areas will have access to their private garages and parking spaces, while access to hotels in the zone by car will also be permitted. All other vehicles are prohibited from the ZBE between 8am and 9pm. Those wishing to request authorisation for access under special circumstances will be able to do so on the town hall’s website.
Del Cid added that the installation of the monitoring cameras necessary for the implementation of the low emission zone offers data such as a daily diagnosis of the volume of traffic. “This gives us the opportunity to adopt measures that improve the flow of traffic. Apart from the obvious improvement in security, we have a complete video surveillance system that will be coordinated by the Local Police of Torremolinos,” she said.
The mayor said she was committed to a more “pedestrian-friendly model”, which is why the ZBE will be accompanied by another series of measures, such as new parking areas in “saturated neighbourhoods” such as El Calvario or La Carihuela.
Other initiatives include a plan for a new bus station, two bicycle parking areas installed in the town centre, along with six electric vehicle charging points.
“We are working with the Junta de Andalucía on a project for a new bus station that will redirect the flow of buses to an area on the outskirts of the town that is better connected to the motorway,” the mayor said.
She also stressed that the central government must acknowledge the need to improve the Cercanías C1 local train line between Malaga and Fuengirola, “which has five stations in Torremolinos that require better maintenance and updating of services and equipment”.
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