MADRID, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Madrid City Hall on Wednesday reactivated its anti-air pollution protocol after levels of over 180 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic meter were measured in seven stations monitoring air quality in the Spanish capital.
It is the fourth time the protocol has been activated in less than two weeks as a long spell of hot dry weather combines with the high numbers of vehicles on the capital's roads to send air-pollution levels soaring.
The Madrid Town Hall website advises that the first stage of the protocol means that traffic on the M-30 ring road and on access roads into the capital is "limited to 70 kilometers an hour", both in an out of the city while recommending the use of public transport.
Meanwhile, the city delegate in charge of the Environment and Mobility, Ines Sabanes, advised that the measure "will remain active as long as the current pollution episode lasts, and could give way to successive measures to limit the circulation of vehicles if the levels are maintained or increases and if the current weather conditions do not become more favorable."
Higher levels of restrictions would limit parking in the city center and then could place a ban on the use of private vehicles on certain days.
The Madrid Town Hall only last week confirmed that as of December this year, the central Gran Via would be closed to traffic on a permanent basis with only local residents, taxis and public transport able to use the main thoroughfare.