Photo: Luis García, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Spanish hauliers to protest over Madrid clean air zone expansion

A number of regional and national carrier organisations in Spain will today organise a ‘go slow' protest in Madrid over the Spanish capital's soon-to-be-extended clean air zone.

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According to Fenadismer, Spain’s most prominent haulage association, as many as 100 trucks and coaches are due to take part.

The groups set to participate in the protest say they are demanding Madrid City Council introduce a “rational and realistic calendar” for determining the access of commercial vehicles to the city centre. They add that the rules as they are at present will exclude 70% of the existing fleet in the region.

“The convening associations consider this measure absolutely irrational, since in practice it will mean eliminating transport vehicles that are less than 10 years old, despite them having their ITV review [Spanish equivalent of an MOT] up to date, and in some cases with barely any kilometres on the clock,” says Fenadismer.

Fenadsimer claims the ban will affect somewhere between 60% and 70% of the fleet that currently operates in the Madrid area, both goods and passenger vehicles. The haulage organisation thus argues that the clean air zone rules could bring about product shortages.

When it comes to fleet upgrades, Fenadismer argues that they are “unaffordable for the majority of transporters that operate in the city,” which are said to be mainly sole-traders and family businesses.

For those unfamiliar with the clean air zone, petrol vehicles need to be of Euro 3 standard, and diesel vehicles Euro 4. The rules apply to both Spanish and foreign vehicles.

Last year, the zone covered the area inside the M-30 ring road. This was then extended this year to include the actual ring road itself.

From January 1st 2024, the entire Madrid municipality will fall under the new rules. Then, in the final step, the grace period of Madrid-registered vehicles will end on January 1st 2025. At the same time, HGVs of Euro 4 will not be able to access the zone at certain times.

Full details regarding the changes can be found here.

Photo: Luis García, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons