The Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, surrounded by her government councilors, celebrated the start-up of Central Madrid on Friday with a crowded walk along Gran Vía and assured that this measure is "a necessary step" in the "battle" for make the capital an even more "healthy" city.
"We took a step that was necessary, that the European Commission, our society (…) asked us to do. We can not make Madrid lose the battle to stop being a healthy city, it is and we want it to remain so", has assured the councilor in a ceremony in the Plaza Pedro Zerolo with many of its councilors, including the delegate of Environment and Mobility, Inés Sabanés, architect of the measure.
On the first morning that Madrid Central has worked informatively -without access controls or fines- traffic has been reduced between 20% and 50% in the low emission area and in the adjoining spaces, according to Sabanés. , for Carmena, "the neighbors have shown that the citizens of Madrid are magnificent, they are an absolutely responsible city".
Applauded by his colleagues for moving forward Central Madrid despite the "many pressures" -the High Court of Justice will deal next week with several judicial appeals requesting its stay-, Sabanés has assured that this Friday is a "historic day" and has been grateful his support for the PSOE-M, whose representatives have not attended the event.
"Putting ourselves on the path of combating health prevention pollution and finding more spaces for a more friendly and harmonious mobility is to situate ourselves in the present, resolving issues and in the future, putting health prevention and improvement of health first. quality of life, "said Sabanés.
The delegate of the Environment has also stressed that Central Madrid will be evaluated continuously in a follow-up commission that will deal with data on pollution, traffic and the circumstances that are observed in the "deployment" of the measure, which will have until January manual controls and informants and then open "a more automated phase" with notices and without fines.
Madrid Central "closes the circle" of a mobility that wants to take space away from the car to give it to sustainable modes of transport, said the delegate of Sustainable Urban Development, José Manuel Calvo.
"Today Madrid has won the battle against pollution, noise, climate change and all those who oppose defending the health of citizens, to advance to a more sustainable city," said Calvo, defending that strategy is going beyond the center, with expansion of pedestrian space in districts and new bike lanes.
The delegate of Economy and Finance and Councilman of Center, Jorge García Castaño, has assured this Friday was a success of the citizens of Madrid "for the" way in which it has become operational. "" It has gone far above what that we ourselves expected. The citizenship of Madrid is far ahead sometimes of the partisan fights ", has assured Brown Garci'a.
"More life and less smoke, here we are for that", Carmena underlined about Central Madrid, which since midnight only allows residents to circulate in an area of 472 hectares, their guests (a maximum of 20 per month), cars with Zero Emissions and Eco label and B and C vehicles that go to a public car park, as well as merchant and supply vehicles.