Everything you need to know about the central Madrid restricted access area
As of November, the new road access regulations for the centre of Madrid will begin to be piloted. This is fantastic news for the environment and electrical vehicle owners.
The new central Madrid Restricted Access Area (RAA) aims to turn the centre of Madrid into an area free of endless traffic jams, unbreathable smoke and noise in favour of habitability. And the utopia is much closer than it appears. As of January 2019 only zero emissions vehicles, such as electrical and ECO (hybrids and PLG) may enter central Madrid, which will mean a reduction of up to 30% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 24% of superfine particles in suspension by 2020, according to Madrid Town Council calculations.
A total of 72.6% of movements in the central almond of the Spanish capital correspond to internal combustion cars, of which 68.2% of these use diesel fuel. Now, do a mental exercise. Imagine Madrid streets during morning rush hour; la Castellana, la Gran Vía, la Glorieta de Atocha or Avenida de América. Now remove seven out of ten vehicles from the traffic lanes. Yes, this is quite a change. In accordance with DGT data from the Community of Madrid car pool, the capital will soon be an exclusive area of 36,000 proud drivers of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Although there are a few exceptions: garage owners or those with a rented garage space in the centre, loading and unloading vehicles in addition to residents from the new central Madrid area may continue to use and drive their vehicles be they gasoline or diesel. Vehicles to be parked in an underground public car park may also have access as long as they have at least the Spanish Directorate General for Traffic classification label B and C.
WHICH DGT LABEL MATCHES MY VEHICLE?
If you have not yet requested your DGT label, you need to do so right now. The entire Madrid traffic regulations now depend on this.
Zero emissions: Battery electric vehicles (BEV), extended autonomy electric vehicle (EAEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with minimum autonomy of 40 kilometres or fuel cell vehicles.
ECO: Plug-in hybrid vehicles with autonomy <40 km, non-plug-in hybrid vehicles (HEV), compressed and liquefied natural gas propelled vehicles (CNG and LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas vehicles (LPG). In all cases, there should be compliance with the criteria of label C.
C: Light gasoline and diesel cars and lorries registered as of January 2006 and 2014, respectively. Vehicles with more than 8 seats and both gasoline and diesel heavy vehicles registered as of 2014. Therefore, petrol and diesel vehicles must comply with Euro regulations 4.5 and 6 and Euro 6, respectively.
B: Gasoline light cars and lorries registered as of January 2000 and diesel vehicles as of January 2006. Vehicles with more than 8 seats and both gasoline and diesel heavy vehicles registered as of 2005. Therefore, gasoline and diesel vehicles should comply with regulation Euro 3 and Euro 4 and 5, respectively.
No label: Those most contaminant cars, that is, gasoline cars registered before January 2000 and diesel cars registered prior to 2006, in addition to heavy vehicles prior to 2014, will not receive a DGT label and will face many complications in Madrid. Vehicles with no label may not access central Madrid unless they are invited by a resident or have a garage because they may not park in the centre’s underground public car parks. Moreover, as of 2020 no vehicle without a label will be able to use the SER area and may not drive throughout the municipal district as of 2025.
LIMITS OF THE CENTRAL MADRID RAA
The new central Madrid Restricted Access Area is demarcated by the ring-roads and boulevards and virtually coincides with the central district. Its perimeter is demarcated by the streets Alberto Aguilera, Carranza, Sagasta, Génova, Paseo de Recoletos, Paseo del Prado, Ronda de Atocha, Ronda de Valencia, Ronda de Toledo, Gran Vía de San Francisco, Bailén, Plaza de España, Princesa and Serrano Jover.
The Town Council has begun to install the necessary cameras and systems to detect passenger vehicles inside central Madrid and will begin as of November this year to explain the penalties for unauthorised access to the area. During this test period you may continue to access the centre and will not have to pay fines. As of 1 January 2019 traffic will be definitively restricted in the area and those in breach will start to receive fines in February.
The new RAA replaces the current RPA (residential priority areas of Huertas, Cortes, Embajadores and Opera) and removes the free movement streets that crossed them, such as Gran Vía or Paseo del Prado, obliging unauthorised vehicles to circle their perimeter.
I HAVE AN ELECTRICAL OR ECO CAR (HYBRID OR GAS)
If you have a zero emissions or Eco car we congratulate you. As well as contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable world, you may access the central Madrid area free of restrictions. In the case of electrical cars, parking in the SER area is free of charge and has no time limit. Moreover, spaces reserved exclusively for recharging will be created. The ultimate aim is to achieve a total of 250 points that include all kinds of recharging both in public and private areas by 2022. If, however, you have a hybrid or mixed gas combustion car, you have a 50% discount on the ground regulated parking area, although you can only park for a maximum of two hours in the same district, given that the blue area will disappear completely from all of central Madrid.
I HAVE A DIESEL OR GASOLINE CAR AND I LIVE OUTSIDE THE CENTRE
Now you have one further reason to switch vehicle and opt for electrical mobility In any case, bringing a car to the centre of Madrid was never a bright idea. You can still drive on the M-30 and up to the limits of the central Madrid area. From there, you should carry on in public transport. The Town Council plans to build 12 new dissuasive car parks in the city of Madrid with 9570 spaces that are added to the dissuasive car parking spaces located in the city of Madrid, which currently stands at 4767 spaces. If your diesel or gasoline combustion vehicle has DGT labels B or C you may access the centre as long as you park in an underground car park or have your own rented or owned garage space. You may also access central Madrid and park at ground level if a resident invites you.
I LIVE INSIDE THE CENTRAL MADRID AREA
Neighbours from the central Madrid area will be one of the main beneficiaries of the traffic restriction that will improve road traffic in the capital and the quality of the air. Central Madrid residents or owners may continue to use their internal combustion vehicles and drive through the interior area completely freely. Given that the former RPA are removed, central Madrid residents may cross and park on the ground in the entire area, including areas previously restricted to non-residents and combustion vehicles such as Huertas, Embajadores, Cortes or Opera. That said, they may only park without time limit in their own district once they have obtained a resident card and they will pay green area tariffs up to a maximum of two hours in the remainder of Central Madrid. Residents from the area can also invite vehicles outside central Madrid with a maximum of 20 authorisations a month.
I AM A CARRIER OR DISTRIBUTOR
Vehicles dedicated to the distribution of goods or loading and unloading may continue to access central Madrid and make use of the ground car parks in the SER area within the established time limit. As of 2020 lorries with no DGT label may not access central Madrid. Taxis may also enter central Madrid free of restrictions, just as driver car rental services (Uber, Cabify etc.) as long as they are reserved previously.
NEIGHBOURING CAR PARK AREAS AND END OF THE BLUE AREA
To avoid overcrowding of vehicles in the bordering areas of central Madrid, the Town Council will establish, at the request of neighbours, neighbouring car park areas reserved exclusively for residents, with the purpose that they not be occupied by citizens who park their car there to subsequently carry on in public transport to the centre. Moreover, and as stated above, the blue area, which enabled longer parking times at cheaper prices will disappear completely from central Madrid. All spaces will become green with a maximum parking time of two hours.