Approval for the update to the LEZ with social improvements

The Full Council has given the green light to the amendment of the municipal by-law for the Low Emission Zone, adding measures to provide extra cover for those with the lowest incomes. The new version also broadens permission for the occasional use of vehicles for professionals close to retirement age who use their vehicles for work.

27/01/2023 15:35 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The following updates are made to the by-law:

Authorisations for 24 hours

  • Occasional access for vehicles without the environmental sticker, including historical and classic vehicles. Permission to circulate may be for 24 days per vehicle per year.
  • Foreign vehicles which do not meet the technical requisites on emissions. These will also be entitled to 24 days as above.

Temporary authorisation

The update to the by-law also broadens temporary permission for vehicles without the environmental sticker to circulate in the LEZ:

  • Vehicles belonging to professionals set to retire within five years.
  • Vehicles carrying out maintenance tasks in workshops. These are authorised while the vehicle is in the workshop.
  • Vehicles being replaced, if accreditation can be provided for the purchase of a vehicle which meets the established requisites. This would be for the interim, until the new vehicle is delivered.
  • Unique vehicles from driving schools, vehicles carrying skips and containers, trucks with water cisterns, armoured security vehicles, cage trucks and dumpers. Authorisation will be annual in these cases.

Annual authorisation

Owners of pollutant vehicles can circulate within the LEZ if they demonstrate an annual income lower than twice the Public Income Indicator of Multiple Effects (IPREM), multiplied by the number of household members where this applies. For example, taking into account that the IPREM for 2022 is €579 a month, a person living alone would have to earn a maximum of €1,158 a month to qualify for the annual authorisation. For a household of two people, the IPREM threshold will be multiplied by 2.5, compared to 2.9 for a household of three and 3.3 for a household of four or more.

Besides these new aspects, the text also maintains the rest of the restrictions in the current regulations, particularly relating to cases of people with chronic illnesses, those receiving medical treatment or with some sort of disability.

For the rest of the most pollutant vehicles without the DGT sticker, the restriction on working days is unchanged, from Monday to Friday between 7 am and 8 pm. The fine for infringements is 200 euros, rising by an additional 30% during pollution episodes.

NO2 down by 31%

Since the Low Emission Zone was announced in 2017, the city has avoided 600,000 journeys by pollutant vehicles. This step, in conjunction with other measures to prioritise public transport and pedestrian spaces, has helped cut nitrogen oxide levels by 31% around traffic stations compared to 2015.

The project to implement the low emission zone is funded by the EU’s Next Generation funds.


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