The LEZ Seville environmental zone
The city of Seville is located in the southwestern part of Spain, about 100 km away from the Atlantic coast. Seville is the capital of the province with the same name. It has around 690,000 inhabitants on an area of approx. 141 km² and is the fourth largest city in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
The LEZ Seville environmental zone, which was approved in November 2017 and came into force on 21.09.2018, is a temporary environmental zone. It covers the city area as well as larger parts of the metropolitan area of Seville (Metropolitana de Sevilla).
The environmental zone of the city is divided into 6 subzones: the 1st zone in the east (Este), the 2nd in the south (Sur), the 3rd in the north (Norte), the 4th in the centre (Centro), the 5th in the west (Oeste) and the 6th in the central eastern zone (Centro Este).
The urban LEZ (Low Emission Zone) is also called ZBE (Zona Bajas Emissions) in Spain and is only activated during traffic-related air pollution peaks.
In Seville, several pollutants contribute to the activation of air pollution alerts and early warnings. These are nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM10), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3). When precisely defined limit values are reached, the city authorities issue early warnings and alerts and apply driving bans.
Depending on the duration and intensity of the air pollution peaks, the measures taken by the city are activated following 3 stages.
The current status of access rights to the zone for individual vehicle types and an overview for different weekdays and times can only be viewed in the Green-Zones app.
Table overview of the environmental zone
The three stages of an air pollution peak
In the event of an air pollution peak in the LEZ Seville environmental zone, the following three stages shall apply as soon as the measured limit values of the respective pollutants have been exceeded.
In stage 1 of an air pollution peak, the population is informed and warned of the dangers of air pollution.
In stage 2, speed reductions on roads are imposed and public transport is reinforced. Furthermore, heavy goods vehicles > 3.5 t (N2/N3) are not allowed to circulate between 7-9 am and 6-9 pm. This does not apply to zero-emissions trucks and municipal vehicles. It is also forbidden to load and unload all types of commercial vehicles (N1-N3) between 6-8 am and 3-5 pm. Private cars are only allowed to enter the environmental zone if they have a Distintivo Ambiental of class 0, ECO and C and at least 2 people are in the vehicle, or they are driven by a resident.
In stage 3, stringent traffic restrictions apply in addition to the measures of stage 2. All heavy goods vehicles (N2, N3) are therefore banned from traffic. Restrictions on loading and unloading are imposed, parking is prohibited (except for residents) and people are encouraged to use public transport. In addition, there is a driving ban in the area for all cars, except those with a Distintivo Ambiental of class 0 or those driven by a resident.
However, the measures of the 3 stages only come into force if the high pollution levels are caused by road traffic and not by external events such as dust from the Sahara or fires affecting agricultural land or forests.
Furthermore, the measures of the stages 2 and 3 are only ever implemented in the part of the Seville environmental zone in which the measured value limits are exceeded. This can be in one of 6 subzones or in several or all subzones.