Madrid transport stops due to restrictions on the city center

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The main associations of the road freight transport sector of the Community of Madrid and of discretionary and regular passengers for special use by bus (ATA, ATG, CETM-Madrid, FENADISMER Madrid and AETRAM) have called for a slow march of vehicles for the Monday, October 30, 2023, which will run through the center of Madrid in protest against the prohibitions on access for professional vehicles to the Low Emission Zone in the center of Madrid from January 1, 2024, as well as its limitations hours. Starting next year, light vehicles (vans) up to 3.5 tons of GVW will not be able to access the Central District, meaning that almost 70% of the current urban freight distribution fleet (DUM) will not be able to carry out their work. in the center of Madrid, being even more serious for the moving sector in which the percentage of the fleet that does not comply with the necessary environmental labels exceeds 80%.

This serious situation is also repeated for all road passenger transport vehicles (coaches) weighing less than 3,500 kilos with a B badge, which will also not be able to access these areas as of January 1, 2024, extending this measure to all. B vehicles without distinction from January 1, 2025, with an impact of more than 60% of the current fleet of discretionary and tourist coaches in the region and which will cause serious damage to mobility for tourists in the city of Madrid .

In recent years, transportation has experienced a difficult economic situation, especially due to the rise in fuel prices, which has meant that it does not have the investment capacity to renew its fleet, but there are other drawbacks, such as the absence of associated infrastructure and the lack of electric charging points in the city of Madrid.

For this reason, the sector requests a three-year moratorium from the Madrid City Council (until December 31, 2026), so that professional vehicles with the B badge are allowed access to the Central District, which will be debated in the plenary session of the Town Hall to be held on October 30.

Supply problems in the center of Madrid

If the current access schedule is maintained, there will be supply problems in the center of Madrid, since there will not be enough vehicles to be able to develop the service that they have been carrying out until now and that has contributed to the improvement of the environment and the air quality of the city of Madrid, as confirmed by the latest indices published by the city council itself, because when passengers travel by bus or goods go on board a truck, a large number of trips are being avoided in the city. private vehicles of citizens, contributing to an improvement in sustainability and mobility in the city of Madrid.

Freight transporters require an extension of the access hours of professional vehicles to the Central District, also allowing afternoon hours, in order to avoid the concentration of these vehicles in circulation and in loading and unloading reserves in the morning time, so that greater decongestion occurs.

Likewise, the situation of removals requires specific treatment, since these vehicles travel few kilometers with very short routes and are parked for most of the day, requiring an authorization to occupy public roads, which is why they ask for exceptions their access prohibitions.

It should be remembered that the current municipal government team was very critical of the regulation of Madrid Central that the previous mayor, Manuela Carmena, proposed in 2018, and that the current mayor, José Luís Martínez Almeida, committed to transport to analyze the situation as a result of the moratorium approved last year, which is why the transport sector believes that it would be desirable for it to abandon the “ultra-ecological” path that it has been maintaining and adopt realistic and acceptable measures for transporters.