Air quality will be measured in the town centre and elsewhere. / josele

Marbella will carry out a study into its air quality this summer to adapt to EU low-emission rules

Once the information has been obtained the council will decide on the most effective measures and work out their cost and how to finance them

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS

Under the Law of Climate Change and Energy Transition which was approved in Spain last May, towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants are obliged to create Low Emission Zones with a view to progressively eliminating vehicles with internal combustion systems and Marbella council is now starting work on doing so although the Councillor for Traffic, Enrique Rodríguez, says there will be no drastic measures which would “punish” local people.

The council’s plan has three phases. First, data will be collected to get an overview of the situation; secondly, measures will be designed and thirdly, the cost and how it is to be financed will be worked out. Rodríguez says a study will be carried out into the air quality in Marbella this summer, which is when there is the most traffic, in three places: one in Marbella town centre, another in San Pedro and a third will be the meteorological station which already exists by the arch at the entrance to the municipality.

“That will give us a realistic view of the problem so the measures we implement will be effective and not based on an estimation,” he says. He insists that Marbella does not have a serious pollution problem, but the information is needed in order to adapt to the EU regulations.

Measures

Since 2019, bus travel has been free for people who are registered on the ‘padrón’, the municipal population register, and Rodríguez says this will continue because it is the best way of encouraging people to leave their cars at home. The council is also planning an ‘electrified green line’ zero-emission bus service between Marbella and San Pedro Alcántara.

Other measures under consideration are ways to slow down traffic and provide more space for pedestrians, and provide financial incentives such as a tax reduction for the purchase of electric vehicles, and more charging facilities for this type of car. The council is also thinking of introducing a bicycle hire scheme in the town.

The Low Emission Zones in Marbella will be part of the Urban Mobility Plan. Once the information has been obtained and the measures decided upon, the council will work out the financing for those and the technology needed to put them into place.