blog shmadrid castellano   blog shmadrid
Good to know

Madrid Central – How Does it Work?

Written by Daniella

Pollution has become an urgent public health problem that requires quick solutions. The number of deaths directly related to normal breathing, especially in big cities, has increased year after year, and unfortunately it is not only limited to the more vulnerable people with previous respiratory problems. Allergies have increased and asthmatic problems occur more often, especially with young children. Bottom line is that our health in general is being affected. One of the main causes of these serious problems is toxic emissions by cars circulating the city. And this is exactly why Madrid’s City Council has taken action and created a road protocol, that affects the central area of the capital. Today, this article by ShMadrid will tell you more about the project ‘Madrid Central,’ to take away any doubts you might still have.

Related article: BiciMAD; Madrid’s Public Bike Service

Discover everything you need to know about Madrid Central

Photo via Pixabay

Madrid Central is a low-emission zone, that went into effect on Friday 30 November 2018. The measure, which is part of Plan A of Air Quality and Climate Change, seeks to promote circulation in the city centre by foot, bicycle or public transport, and restricts transit by private vehicles. This way, the Central district becomes a ‘lung with limited emissions’ in the city, right in the heart of the capital. The zone consists of 472 hectares and comprises the four current areas, and even extends to neighbourhoods like Justicia and Universidad. There are no free circulation streets inside this zone, except for some roads that are allowed to be entered by certain businesses, and therefore, with the few exceptions mentioned above, it eliminates all other traffic passing through the city centre. The project has, however, made exceptions for the following profiles: residents, people with reduced mobility, and security or emergency services. These profiles can access Madrid Central without any restrictions.

Related article: Madrid’s Cheapest Gas Stations

Photo via Pixabay

A series of exceptions, moratoriums and deadlines have also been established for certain groups. Zero emission vehicles (environmental label 0) may circulate in Madrid Central and park in the SER zone (Servicio de Estacionamiento Regulado zone) without any restrictions. Vehicles with an ECO label may enter and park in the SER zone during regulated hours, with a maximum of 2 hours. Vehicles with a C or B label will be able to access the zone, only to park in public car parks, private garages or other reserved parking spaces. If you are a registered resident in the Central Madrid area, every already owned and used vehicle (including motorcycles) may still circulate, regardless of the label. If you had a vehicle on 30 November 2018 with a category lower than category A, you will be able to drive it until you will purchase a new vehicle. Bear in mind that the next vehicle, whether new or second-hand, must have at least environmental category B. Vehicles other than category A will not be allowed to be driven in Central Madrid anymore from 2025, unless the vehicle is registered as a ‘Classic Car’. For more information, visit the Madrid City Council website.

Do you live in the area of Madrid Central? How did the measure affect you?

About the author


Daniella loves to write and translate. Her bucket list is filled with beautiful places she still needs to visit.

Leave a Comment