Low emissions zone: everything you need to know
For people’s health, because the planet needs it and because action needs to be taken on the climate emergency, the permanent low emissions zone (LEZ) comes into force on 1 January 2020. The measure restricts the circulation of vehicles which pollute the most, cutting NO2 emissions by 15% and improving air quality. Pollution caused 351 deaths in the city in 2018.
What is the permanent low emissions zone?
The protected area covers over 95 square kilometres and prohibits the circulation of pollutant vehicles on working days from 7 am to 8 pm. It includes the entire city of Barcelona and all or part of the municipalities of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Cornellà de Llobregat, Esplugues de Llobregat and Sant Adrià de Besòs.The city’s ring roads, the neighbourhoods of Vallvidrera, Tibidabo and Les Planes are outside the LEZ, as is the Zona Franca.
When does it come into force?
As from 1 January 2020.
Which vehicles do the restrictions affect?
All vehicles without the DGT environmental rating badge. The vehicles those do the restrictions affect from January 1st are:
• Cars: pre-Euro 3 petrol-driven cars registered before January 2000 and pre-Euro 4 diesel cars registered before January 2006.
• Motorbikes, mopeds and quad vehicles: pre-Euro 2 vehicles registered before 2003.
What moratoriums and exceptions apply?
• Moratorium of one year: vans, lorries, coaches and buses used by professionals.
• Exemptions, until the vehicle is replaced. Vehicles must register to be able to circulate:
- Vehicles belonging to people with reduced mobility
- Emergency services
- Essential services (medical or funeral)
• Special permission: 24-hour authorisation can be granted via a register, up to a maximum of ten days a year. Special service vehicles can request temporary authorisations.
How will the restrictions on pollutant vehicles be enforced?
The city police will check vehicle number plates with video surveillance cameras at access and exit points to the city and within the LEZ itself.
Is it obligatory to display the environmental badge?
It is not obligatory to display the sticker, but it does make the monitoring task easier for the city police.
How do I request the environmental rating badge?
Use the zbe.barcelona website to check which environmental badge corresponds to your vehicle. You can request the badge at the post office (Correus) or at a registered administration agency.
What will the permanent low emissions zone mean in terms of health?
The permanent low emissions zone will limit circulation to 50,000 vehicles and cut NO2 emissions by 15%.
Which other cities in the world have got low emissions zones?
Brussels, London, Paris, Milan and Rotterdam are among more than 200 European cities with low emissions zones.
Where can I get more information?