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Barcelona poised to introduce congestion charge in bid to cut pollution

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Barcelona poised to introduce congestion charge in bid to cut pollution
Photo: AFP
09:28 CEST+02:00
Barcelona's left-wing mayor said Wednesday she was considering a congestion charge in Spain's second largest city to reduce traffic and air pollution.

Barcelona's left-wing mayor said Wednesday she was considering a congestion charge in Spain's second largest city to reduce traffic and air pollution.

Introducing a road toll like those already operating in London and other European cities "is one of the measures which we have on the table", Ada Colau said during an interview with local television.

The Mediterranean coastal city which is home to some 1.6 million residents will already ban older, more polluting vehicles as of January 1, 2020.   

As of that date, gasoline-powered cars registered before 2000, and diesel-powered cars registered before 2006, will be banned from most of the city's roads.

The move will affect around 125,000 cars and will reduce air pollution levels by 15 percent by 2024, according to city hall.   

"It may not be enough and we will have to consider other measures, like a toll charge," Colau said without giving further details.   


Ada Colau is serving a second term as mayor of Barcelona. Photo: AFP

Barcelona has since 2002 exceeded the level of carbon dioxide in the air set by the European Union, according to a 2017 report by the city public health department.

Barcelona's poor air quality caused a yearly average of 424 premature deaths between 2010 and 2017, the report said.

READ ALSO Madrid Central: Five reasons why scrapping anti-pollution traffic is absurd 

 
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