MADRID, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The Madrid Town Hall on Monday presented a plan aimed at reducing air-pollution in the city which will impose speed limits, while restricting the access of some vehicles to the city center and banning others altogether.
The plan came hot on the heels of a similar plan published by Barcelona local authority last week, which will see all cars which are more than 20 years old forbidden from entering the city.
The Madrid project was made public a day after temporary restrictions on traffic parking in the city center due to high levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air were lifted.
The plan would limit the top speed on the M-30 ring road and main access roads in the Spanish capital to 70 kilometers an hour by 2018. Vehicles which produce the highest levels of pollution will not be allowed to park in the city center from 2020 and have their use in the entire municipal zone limited by 2025.
This will affect all vehicles bought before the year 2000 and diesel vehicles purchased before 2006 and it is calculated this currently accounts for 28.3 percent of all cars in use in Madrid.
Meanwhile, the Madrid Town Hall will also declare a "zero emissions" area in the center of the city, where drive through traffic will be forbidden with priority given to pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and non-contaminating vehicles.
"Space dedicated to automobiles" will be reduced while public transport services and cycle lanes will be improved and increased, with the creation of "30 zones" where it will be prohibited for cars to circulate at more than 30 kilometers an hour, according to the plan.
Finally, a Zero-Emissions Area will be imposed on the entire city center with all new taxies brought into use from 2018 having to be classified as ecological or zero emissions, while all busses owned by public transport company EMT will be low emission vehicles by 2020.