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Notorious for bad fumes, Madrid launches polluting-car ban

November 30, 2018
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A tourist poses for a photo taken by another on a sign painted on the road indicating the boundary of the centre of the city in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Madrid activated a new traffic restriction system Friday in an attempt to reduce pollution in the city. Petrol vehicles before 2000 and diesel ones registered before 2006 are banned from this central area but on the first day of the restrictions, drivers will not be fined as municipal police were only warning drivers of the new restrictions. (AP Photo/Paul White)

MADRID (AP) — Madrid has activated an anti-pollution order that significantly restricts private vehicles in the city center, including a total ban on the most polluting cars.

The much-debated plan establishes a 472 hectare-low-emission zone in the heart of the Spanish capital.

Petrol vehicles manufactured before 2000 and diesel ones registered prior to 2006 are banned from the area or will face a 90-euro ($102) fine.

Only public buses, taxis, residents and some professional vehicles are exempt. Electric, zero-emission cars are allowed in.

Some local politicians say the plan will have meager effects on air quality and is a publicity stunt by the city’s mayor, Manuela Carmena.

Carmena, a left-wing former judge, says Friday that those opposed to the changes will get used to the restrictions and increase their use of public transport.

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