Since we started hearing about the Low Emission Zones (ZBE) a few years have passed and with the change of year the measures are intensifying and circulating through the Madrid center It is increasingly more complicated depending on the label of our car.
In the desire to improve the air quality and comply with environmental regulations, Madrid has implemented new changes in the Low Emissions Zone (ZBE) as part of the Sustainable Mobility Ordinance. In this article we leave you the latest updates of the plan with a detailed view of the restrictions, regulations and changes that come into force in 2024. Thus, it will be possible to circulate through Madrid in 2024.
What is a ZBE and which ones are there in Madrid?
For those of you who need context: Low Emission Zones (ZBE) are delimited urban areas geographically in which specific measures are implemented to reduce air pollution and improve air quality. In the context of Madrid, the ZBE is a fundamental part of the Sustainable Mobility Ordinance, establishing progressive restrictions for vehicles with environmental classification Awith the aim of complying with national and European regulations on air quality.
Madrid Low Emissions Zone (ZBE):
This is the main area of implementation of the restrictions. It covers all public roads within the municipality of Madrid. The prohibition of access and circulation applies to all vehicles that have environmental classification A, according to the Vehicle Registry of the General Directorate of Traffic. The restrictions have been established in progressive phases:
- As of January 1, 2022, access and circulation on urban public roads within the M-30 is prohibited, excluding the M-30 itself.
- From January 1, 2023, the ban extends to urban public roads within the M-30 and the M-30 itself.
- From January 1, 2024is left over access is totally prohibited and circulation on all public and urban roads in the municipality of Madrid.
Now let’s talk about the Special Protection Low Emission Zones (ZBEDEP): additional areas that present aggravated environmental pollution problems and apply their own limitations:
- ZBEDEP Central District: Implemented since September 22, 2021, it restricts the circulation of vehicles with environmental classification A (without environmental label), B and C in the Central District area, except in specific accesses for company and self-employed vehicles with activities in that district. .
- ZBEDEP Plaza Elliptical: Prohibits from December 22, 2021 the circulation of vehicles with environmental classification A in an area that includes part of the A-42.
Tags and accesses
Environmental Classification A
- Affected Vehicles: Refers to vehicles with environmental classification A, which emit more polluting gases compared to other categories.
- Progressive Restrictions: From January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2025, progressive restrictions apply to these vehicles in the Madrid ZBE.
- Restriction Phases: The restrictions vary in three phases, starting with the prohibition of access and circulation inside the M-30 and moving towards a total prohibition on all public and urban roads in Madrid.
Exceptions and Allowed Accesses:
- Specially adapted vehicles: Starting in 2025, only vehicles specially adapted for people with reduced mobility will be able to circulate, as long as they are registered in the ZBE access management system and display the corresponding parking card.
- Historical Vehicles: Vehicles that are considered “historical” can circulate without restrictions.
- Emergency Vehicles: The circulation of emergency vehicles, firefighters and the Armed Forces is allowed without limitations.
Vehicle owners can request access to the Madrid ZBE and the ZBEDEP Distrito Centro and Plaza Elíptica through the Access Management System, thus facilitating the centralized administration of the different Low Emission Zones. This request allows registration in the access management system and obtaining permits to circulate in restricted areas.
Environmental Classification B and C
In general terms, vehicles with labels B and C They have no movement restrictions, except in the ZBEDEP Central District. However, they will be able to access this area if they park in public or private parking, or if they have parking reservations in the area. This part has not changed in 2024.
For him parking in SER spaces (parking on the street) of the Central District, there are exceptions that include residents and their guests, company and self-employed vehicles with activity in the area, and those intended for the transportation of people with reduced mobility.
On the other hand, circulate through the Central District without parking In SER zones it is generally not allowed, except for motorcycles and mopeds from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., vehicles going to private parking spaces, vehicles of residents with special permits, and to drop off or pick up school students according to their needs.
In the case of vehicles with label C, there are additional exceptions in the ZBEDEP Central District, allowing circulation without parking for vehicles of essential public services, vehicles with authorization from the group «Commercial and Industrial Vehicle Owners» of the SER, and vehicles of people who work in night establishments between 00:00 and 06:30 hours.
Environmental Classification 0 and ECO
Drivers of vehicles with ECO and Zero labels They have no restrictions in Madrid. They can access the city’s three ZBEs without limitations and have permission to park in the SER Zones.
Control and sanctions
Access to ZBEs is controlled by automated systems using technologies such as license plate recognition and infringement detection. From January 1, 2022, photo-red devices and cameras with OCR reader They monitor compliance with the restrictions, applying fines to those who violate the ZBE regulation.
Failure to comply with these access restrictions to the ZBE entails fines of 200 euros. During the notice period, information letters are sent to owners of vehicles detected violating the regulations. This notice period for cameras with OCR readers located inside the M30 and on the M30 road is in force from September 15, 2023 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on January 14, 2024. Fact to take into account since with the end of the notice period, the penalties will be intensified in accordance with the modification of the Law on Traffic, Circulation of Motor Vehicles and Road Safety.
For more information about how and where these cameras are located, we recommend visiting the following link on the GEO Portal of the Community of Madrid.
Like everything bureaucratic, sometimes we have doubts about how all this affects or does not affect, we have compiled several interesting questions to resolve specific cases. We hope they help you:
- If I have a car without a badge… In Madrid ZBE access is being gradually restricted until January 1, 2025. In the ZBEDEPs of Distrito Centro and Plaza Elíptica it is prohibited from 2021.
- Do they only fine the cameras? No, if you escape from a camera and are immediately stopped by an Authority Agent, you may be fined €200.
- I reside in Madrid but my unmarked car is domiciled outside of Madrid… You will also not be able to access it from January 1, 2024. In this case there was a deadline to domicile the car in Madrid and be able to circulate until December 31, 2024.
- If I live in Madrid (Ciudad Lineal, Moratalaz, etc.) and I don’t have a badge, can I enter the ZBE? As long as your car meets the requirements and is domiciled in Madrid and registered with the corresponding payment of the Tax on Mechanical Traction Vehicles (IVTM), you will be able to circulate until December 31, 2024 but it will not be able to circulate through the ZBEDEP Distrito Centro and Plaza Elíptica . You will also not be able to drive your car from the second phase onwards in episodes of high pollution.
- If I live in Murcia, can I enter the San Blas district (for example)? You will be able to access all the districts that are outside the perimeter of the M30 until December 31, 2024. As long as you do not drive within it and its districts, there will be no fine.
- Districts through which you CANNOT circulate within the M30: The interior of the M30 includes the districts of Centro, Arganzuela, Retiro, Salamanca, Chamberí, Chamartín, Tetuán and part of the districts of Moncloa-Aravaca and Fuencarral-El Pardo.
- If I go by motorcycle, truck, van or moped: All A vehicles that are not passenger cars (trucks, vans, motorcycles, mopeds) are not affected by the measure until December 31, 2024. But as of January 1, 2025, they will not be able to circulate on the city’s urban public roads. of Madrid all these vehicles that have an A environmental rating.
- I have a car A purchased and/or inherited in 2022… As long as it is purchased from January 1, 2022, is domiciled and current with IVTM payment, it will be able to circulate. If the car is inherited, even before 2022, and meets the same requirements continuously, you will be able to access it.