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Barcelona, Lleida, Madrid and Valladolid on 'air-pollution alert'
By thinkSPAIN Team Tue, Nov 21, 2017
BARCELONA and Lleida have joined Madrid and Valladolid in restricting traffic until smog levels drop to reduce air pollution.
Other than pollution-free cars – such a electrically-powered vehicles – which will carry a sticker to confirm their environmentally-friendly condition, any others seen being driven around Barcelona on 'restricted' days will net their owners a €100 fine.
Some 48 traffic police patrol cars will be stationed around the city to enforce the measure from December 1 onwards.
Registration plates will be scanned to check up on those bearing a sticker, to ensure it is genuine, and on those without to ensure their drivers have not just forgotten to display it.
An automatic number-plate scanning system via CCTV cameras will be set up within two years, coating €1.5 million.
Madrid has restricted parking to residents only in the city centre for the fourth day running and will continue to do so tomorrow (Wednesday), as well as reducing the speed limit on the M-40 and M-45 ringroads to 90 kilometres per hour.
Similar measures are in place in Valladolid, where parking has been temporarily banned in the city centre, and in Lleida.
As well as the two provincial capital cities, a further 222 towns in the provinces of Lleida and Barcelona are on air-pollution alerts this week and traffic authorities are keeping a close eye on the situation.
The smog is partly due to an anti-cyclone bringing higher daytime and lower night-time temperatures and practically no wind or rain, meaning toxic particles in the atmosphere are tending to hang around rather than disperse.
Air pollution is directly responsible for six million deaths every year on the planet, and Spanish pneumologists have recently warned that the health risks for those who live in areas of high atmospheric contamination caused by traffic and industry are exactly the same as if these residents were heavy smokers.
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