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POLLUTION

No more driving or parking in central Madrid without eco sticker

Come November 2018 many drivers in Spain won’t have access to Madrid city centre by private vehicle.

No more driving or parking in central Madrid without eco sticker
Any car that doesn’t meet these criteria won’t be able to gain access to the heart of the city. Photo: Wenjie Zhang/Flickr

Authorities in Spain’s capital have laid out a new set of traffic laws for central Madrid.

From November 1st 2018, access and parking in the city centre will be limited to residents of Madrid Centro and vehicles that have the environmental distinction given to them by Spain’s General Directorate of Traffic, in the form of a green eco sticker.

These include petrol vehicles registered before 2000 and diesel vehicles registered before 2006.

Spain's DGT classification of vehicles according to polluting levels. Photo: DGT

Any car that doesn’t meet these criteria won’t be able to gain access to the heart of the city without facing steep fines.

According to El País, the new measures will affect roughly 20 percent of vehicles regularly driven and parked in central Madrid.

On Monday Madrid City Council presented its new Residency Priority Area (APR) for the Centro district, which includes the city's emblematic Gran Ví and neighbourhoods such as Letras, Cortes, Embajadores and Ópera that already had their own APRs.

The new APR encompasses most the of the previous residence priority areas. Source: Madrid Town Hall

The move aims to reduce carbon emission levels in Spain’s capital by 40 percent.

The space reserved for parking motorcycles with green eco stickers will be doubled to 5.4 linear kilometres.

Electric cars can circulate freely and Madrid City Council is considering extending this exemption to the eco cars and hybrids.

Authorities will give two to three months of leeway to drivers before imposing fines.

Residents of the APR will also receive 20 permits each month which they can give to visitors for them to gain access without the prospect of being fined. 

 

OFFBEAT

Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.

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