The traffic is not reduced in the Area of Low Emissions in Barcelona by the absence of fines

Barcelona lived through this Thursday, the first business day (with full activity and the children back to class after Christmas) with the Area of Low Emissions

The traffic is not reduced in the Area of Low Emissions in Barcelona by the absence of fines

Barcelona lived through this Thursday, the first business day (with full activity and the children back to class after Christmas) with the Area of Low Emissions (ZBE) in march. But the prohibition of driving the cars more contaminants were undetectable in the traffic: the city Council reported that in the first hour the movement was the same as that of the January 8, 2019. The absence of fines, that they will not be fined until April, neutralized by now the impact of the ZBE.

by Comparing the movement of this Thursday, with the average traffic for the month of November last, it turns out that has been reduced by 2.4% in the inner city. With respect to the transport public, either metro, Rodalies, or Railways of the Generalitat were to increase its passengers, reported the spokesmen of each service. A normalcy that the government of the mayor, Ada Colau interpreted with “caution” and stating that it is too soon to evaluate the effectiveness of the ZBE. From now on, for the data to be more reliable, will be matched by whole months.

The councillor of Weather Emergency, Eloi Badia, admitted that the cameras that control the constraint detected “many” vehicles circulating without a tag of the DGT, which are forbidden to tread. In addition to 36 fixed cameras located at the entrances, a vehicle of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona circulates to detect offenders. Badia also acknowledged that “it is possible, in part,” that the absence of fines do not allow to see positive results until April.

The councilman did not know to attribute to a single cause the low impact of the ZBE and argued that “there are many unanswered questions”: how many car contaminants will be affected by moratoriums, the extent to which the old cars will be replaced by new ones or if there are offenders by the absence of fines.

The data of car sales during the last quarter of 2019 indicate that the enrolments grew by 20% on average in the five municipalities affected by the ZBE, according to the Guild of the Engine and Fecavem, that grouped in to dealers.

The city council held nearly 6,000 people have benefited from the possibility of decommission their old cars in exchange for a transportation card free of charge and unlimited for three years, the T-Truth. But, for now, are not meeting the forecast increase in passengers on public transit, encrypted at up to 170,000 additional trips.

The ZBE comprises 95 square miles (including Barcelona, two other municipalities and parts of two more) where this year may not move the cars and bikes that lack the label of the environment of the DGT, the more contaminants. The 2021 restriction will be extended to public transport vehicles and goods. For people who want to circulate promptly with a tourism pollutant, you can apply for up to 10 permits per year.

On the complaint that has been announced by the Platform of people Affected by the Restrictions of the Circulatory system (PARC) against the ordinance that regulates the ZBE, Badia believed that the veto to the car pollutant “is proportional to the fight against pollution,” and he argued that “without losing its target”, it has tried to facilitate the transition to the vehicles affected.

Measuring effectiveness

The council also explained that a committee of scientists and health experts will be in charge of assessing the effectiveness of the ZBE: how to reduce the presence of contaminants on a monthly basis or by semester. A group that, in addition to experts of the city Council, the Metropolitan Area and the regional government, will serve scientists from the Public Health Agency, and the institutes ISG Global and IDAEA CSIC.

The councilman of Health, Gemma Tarafa, said that the ZBE “will have an effect, because that causes more mortality in the city is the pollution associated with the traffic, and if you act on the traffic to reduce its impact on health”. “What remains to be seen is how much improvement”, he concluded.

A committee of health experts will assess the effectiveness of the ZBE

A committee of scientists and health experts will be in charge of assessing the effectiveness of the ZBE. A group that in addition to experts of the city Council of Barcelona, the Metropolitan Area and the government will integrate scientists from the Public Health Agency of the city, and the institutes ISG Global and IDAEA CSIC.

The councilman of Health, Gemma Tarafa, it has argued that the ZBE "will have an effect, because that causes more mortality in the city is the pollution associated with the traffic". "Therefore, we must act on the traffic to reduce its impact on the health, will have to see how much improvement, but it is clear that to reduce it will be positive," he concluded.

Updated Date: 08 January 2020, 19:00

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