Madrid activates anti-pollution protocol
The decision was taken after two air quality monitoring stations in the north of the city measured levels of over 180 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) per cubic meter for a period of over two hours on Tuesday.
Air quality in Madrid has fallen after a spell of dry weather which has allowed particles to build up in the atmosphere.
The protocol means that drivers have to respect a maximum speed limit of 70 kilometers an hour on the M-30 ring road and main access roads into the city, while the City Hall advises the use of public transport whenever possible.
The protocol will be kept in effect until Thursday at the earliest, although the predicted arrival of rain in the coming days should see it removed by the weekend.
Madrid has suffered badly from poor air quality in recent months and this is the sixth episode in which measures have had to be taken since September 2017.
The last pollution episode in December saw level 2 of the protocol, which forbids non-residents from parking inside of the city center, put into operation after levels of over 300 micrograms of NO2 were measures in parts of the city, while a similar episode in November saw drivers banned from parking for over a week, leading to a 5 percent reduction in the level of traffic in the capital. ■