Spanish environmental zones
Environmental zones, known in Spain as Zona de Bajas Emisiones (ZEB) and Area Central Cero Emissions (ACCE), are designed to reduce air pollutants in Spanish cities quickly and permanently.The various environmental zones can be divided into three or four different types.
Low Emission Zone (temporary)
A temporary low emission zone (LEZ) is a designated zone in which temporary traffic restrictions are applied during an air pollution peak, resulting, for example, in speed limits, other restrictions or a badge requirement in order to enter the zone. Furthermore, in the event of further deterioration in air quality, certain categories of badges may be (temporarily) banned from traffic. At the end of the air pollution peak, the measures in the LEZ are revoked.
Low Emission Zone (permanent)
A permanent low emission zone (LEZ) is a designated zone in which permanent and fixed traffic restrictions apply, such as speed limits and other restrictions, and the access to the zone is regulated by a system of badges. Furthermore, over the coming years, badges may be gradually removed from the system so that vehicles with these badges will no longer have access to the zones.
Zero Emission Zone
A zero emission zone (ZEZ) is a designated zone in which vehicles powered by fossil fuels are no longer allowed to enter the zone in the medium or long term. As a result, only electric and hydrogen vehicles and, in exceptional cases, certain hybrid and gas-powered vehicles will soon be allowed to enter the ZEZ.
At the beginning of the implementation of these ZEZ zones, certain vehicles with low-polluting Euro standards may be authorised to enter.
In Spanish cities, the residents of an environmental zone enjoy a special status. This refers to the validity of the badge and the parking possibilities. For this reason, existing environmental zones are sometimes combined with the so-called Áreas de Prioridad Residencial (APR), which provide exemptions for residents, or a special parking-space management, called in Spain Servicio de Estacionamiento Regulado (SER).