August 1, 2021

Guide to know how to drive around Madrid with the new anti-pollution plan

Guide to know how to drive around Madrid with the new anti-pollution plan

The Madrid City Council's new plan to combat nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution, which goes into effect this Monday, will make driving restrictions more frequent, will extend to the entire city and will affect mostly older vehicles and dirty.

The Government of Manuela Carmena changed on September 27 the protocol against pollution that was approved in February 2016, after noting that it was not useful to combat the NO2 peaks because it was activated very rarely.

The way to make the protocol more restrictive is to activate before the three levels of contamination by NO2: warning, warning and alert.


The "pre-warning" will be activated when in two measuring stations of the same zone the 180 micrograms of NO2 per cubic meter is exceeded for two consecutive hours or in any three stations of the network for three consecutive hours.

The "warning" will be activated when two stations in the same zone exceed 200 micrograms per cubic meter of NO2 for two consecutive hours or in any three stations of the network for three consecutive hours.

The "alert" will be activated when in three stations of the same zone the 400 micrograms of NO2 are exceeded for three consecutive hours.


The dirtier the atmosphere is, the harder the restrictions will be. Starting Monday, they will affect motorcycles and vehicles alike, and to find out if you can drive, you will have to look at what label the DGT has, instead of whether the registration number is even or odd, as it has been until now.

Cars that lack this badge will suffer more, that is, those registered before 2000 or diesel before 2006.


From now on, there will be five restriction scenarios, but the City Council hopes to never apply the fifth.

– SCENARIO 1 is activated with a day of "pre-warning". The speed is limited to 70 km / h on the M-30 and the accesses to Madrid and it is recommended to use public transport.

– STAGE 2 is activated with 2 days of "notice" or one of "notice". Prohibited parking in the Regulated Parking Service (SER), except vehicles with environmental label zero emissions and ECO. Those without an environmental label, including motorcycles, are vetoed in the central almond and in the M-30.

– STAGE 3 is activated with three days of "notice" or two "notice". The prohibition of driving vehicles without an environmental label extends to the entire city.

– SCENARIO 4 "jumps" with four consecutive days of "warning". The prohibition to circulate in the whole city also extends to those who have a B-label. It is prohibited to park in the SER area except the ZERO and the ECO.

– SCENARIO 5 enters into force with an "alert" level. It coincides with the level of alert marked by the European Union, which has never been reached in Madrid. All the restrictions of the previous stages are maintained, and it is also forbidden to circulate those with B and C labels. Only the ZERO vehicles can park in the SER.


In Madrid, there are some 1.8 million vehicles that do not have an environmental label, nor will they ever have it because they pollute, in particular passenger cars and vans registered before 2000 and diesel purchased before 2006.

Currently there are four labels or stickers: the 0 emissions, blue, for electric vehicles; ECO (blue and green) for hybrids or "ECO"; C (green) for passenger cars and gasoline vans registered as of 2006 and diesel as of 2014 and B (yellow) for gasoline registered as of 2000 and diesel as of 2006.


The exceptions of the protocol benefit mainly to the residents, who will be able to park in the seats of the BE of their zones, like the commercial and industrial vehicles.

There will also be qualifications for public transport, professional vehicles whose start time or end of working hours is outside the hours of coverage of public transport and vehicles for cleaning and management of urban trees.

It will also allow circulation to all commercial and industrial vehicles of urban distribution of goods and some special ones, such as funeral services.


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