• ZBE The year that will change the mobility of many Spaniards

When the Climate Change Law was approved in 2021, one of its star measures was the creation of the so-called Low Emission Zones (LEZs), designed to reduce pollution and improve air quality by prioritizing pedestrians, bicycles, public transport and shared mobility. And limiting the use of the private car. In principle, they are mandatory for all those populations with more than 50,000 inhabitants (149 throughout the country) and for those with more than 20,000 with serious environmental problems.

Punishment for those who delay to 2024

They should have entered into force as early as January, but currently there are only 10 of them underway and eight were already in operation before, with Barcelona and Madrid as paradigmatic cases. So the bulk will be launched throughout this year and also in 2024, although the Ministry of Ecological Transition has warned that there will be sanctions for those municipalities that delay them until next year.

The ZBE are a new headache for users of a car, since they can even force us to change it. Everything will depend on the scope of the restrictions imposed by each City Council. For example, in the same city there may be one or several, and limitations cover the entire day and days, or apply at intervals and provide exceptions for residents or for work reasons.

Cars without labels

Although the most important derivative is to know which vehicles will be allowed access and under what conditions. As a proposal of maximums, the objective is to privilege zero-emission cars that, if we look at the labels of the DGT, today are 100% electric and plug-in hybrids. Without reaching these extremes, which can also occur, the most common is that they prohibit the circulation and parking of cars without a label (there are also those who call them with label A), which would mean about four million cars in the areas of influence. Then, for the rest, less restrictive criteria will be introduced.

If things are done well by the municipalities, all accesses to the LEZ must be clearly signposted, as well as the categories of vehicles to which access is allowed. For their part, motorists who enter them without being authorized, will have to face a fine of 200 euros. Or 100 euros with prompt payment.

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