Low Emission Zones on Barcelona’s Roads


More than 350 people have died because of pollution in 2018, which is why the city of Barcelona wants to make drastic changes as of January 1, 2020.

The measure they have taken is known as ZBE or “Zona de Bajas Emisiones” (low emission zone), and its objective is to improve air quality through the following initiative: limiting the circulation of polluting vehicles and consequently reducing nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Today’s article on ShBarcelona‘s blog will tell you more about this new measure and its characteristics in the fight against pollution, before it goes into effect.

Related article: Barcelona Neighbourhoods With The Cleanest Air

Basis info about Barcelona’s Low Emission Zones

big factories and air pollution

Photo via Pixabay

Barcelona has decided to act now before things get any worse, and the city is doing everything for its residents to be able to breathe air of a better quality. It will also guarantee more efficient traffic, safety and sustainability.

Barcelona has now joined other European cities, like for example Milan, London, Paris, Rotterdam and Brussels, by applying a measure that should safeguard public health. Surf in Barceloneta Beach.

Barcelona’s low emission zone exceeds an area of 95 square kilometres, and vehicles that cause more pollution will not be allowed to use the zone during working days, between the hours of 7.00 and 20.00.

Only cars with a special environmental label, that has been developed by the Directorate General for Traffic, will be able to travel within the low emission zone.

The low emission zone covers not only the city of Barcelona, but also the following municipalities: Esplugues de Llobregat, Cornellà de Llobregat, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Sant Adrià de Besòs.

Tibidabo, Zona Franca, the neighbourhood of Vallvidrera and several ring roads (Ronda de Dalt and Ronda del Litoral) are not in this zone.

Related article: How to Be Environmentally Friendly in Barcelona

Basically, the zones’ restrictions apply to all vehicles that do not have an environmental label, and this label can be requested at any gestoria (administrative agency) or post office.

You are not obliged to place this label on your vehicle’s windscreen, but this will make controls by the Guardia Urbana much easier, as they will be in charge of controlling traffic within low emission zones.

You can check what type of environmental label you need for your vehicle by entering your vehicle’s registration number on the website ZBE Barcelona.

As always, there are several exceptions to the rule, for example: vehicles of people with reduced mobility, emergency services and medical and funeral services. Lorries, vans, buses and coaches are exempt during the first year of the new regulations.

busy traffic

Photo via Pixabay

An interesting fact is the special authorization you can get if you are in the register. If you need to use your car, you can get this authorization up to one day before you need it, and it will be valid for 24 hours.

You can request this in advance, with a maximum of 10 days per year.

The process of controlling traffic within the low emission zones will be easy. Vehicle registration plates will be checked by video surveillance cameras at entrances and exits to the city, but also inside the city.

The measure that will be in force from 2020 aims at a reduction of approximately 50,000 vehicles, and it will reduce NO2 emissions with 15%.

What else do you know about ZBE in Barcelona?