Madrid wants cars out of its city centre

They´re planning to put a speed trap in every tree and a camera on every red light, it seems. Don’t expect Jeremy Clarkson to make a visit any time soon.

In order to continue enjoying her relaxing cup of cafe con leche in the Plaza Mayor, Mayor Botella wants to cut personal car use in the city centre by 23% this year, and almost eradicate it by 2020.

By 2020 she wants more than half of above ground trips to be on public transport or by bike, meaning that the vast majority of vehicles in the city will be professional (bus, taxi, delivery).

And now that she’s given up on her Olympic dream, she’s got the cash to throw around – 530 million euros over the next six years.

She wants to cut daily personal car use by 3,2 million KM a day, she proclaimed at the unveiling of her new transport scheme, which will save 135,000 tons of CO2 a day.

Madrid can be a horrible city during the heat waves, when no air means the pollution builds up above the city causing smog

Madrid – city of a thousand smogs

In 2012, the foto-rojo fined almost 34,000 madrileños jumping red lights. She wants to dramatically expand this, hinting that every red light will end up with a camera, which seems excessive. Still, why not.

And all 12 districts of Madrid will receive new funding to hire traffic wardens and tow-trucks. On the spot fines will increase and naughty parkers will be walking home.

And she’s already used the new Traffic Law to make drivers of high emission vehicles pay far more in local road tax.

Buses will be upped by 25% and be given 100% priority and rights of way through the city. Empty taxis will be banned from using bus lanes in peak hours.

And unloading bays will be fitted with cameras that detect how long the vehicle has spent in the bay before a fine is automatically issued.

And the Metro system will be expanded. The extension on line 10 is ontime to be completed before the 2015 elections (of course), lines 11 and 12 have been given funding to expand, and plans are to be drawn up for lucky-for-some new line 13.

The plans, if they work, will force madrileños to be part of the largest green city in Europe. If they work. She might want to spend some money actually training the mad Madrid bus drivers first – I wouldn’t want to get on board one.

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