May 22th 2024 | 5:15


ZBE in Bilbao starts in June

Jesus Carames

April 18, 2024 | 10:32 a.m.

Restrictions on access by private vehicle to the center of Bilbao are scheduled to begin in June, as part of the implementation of a low emissions zone (ZBE). This effort responds to the mandate of the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law of 2021, which requires municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants to establish ZBEs to improve air quality and reduce polluting emissions.

Context of the implementation in Bilbao

Before final implementation, Bilbao City Council plans to resolve around a hundred allegations received in relation to this measure. These allegations are expected to be discussed and potentially incorporated into the final guidelines during an extraordinary plenary session in May. This review and approval process is crucial to ensure that all interested parties have the opportunity to contribute to the final design of the ZBE.

Details of the Low Emission Zone – ZBE

The Bilbao ZBE will restrict access to the most polluting vehicles, following the model of other large Spanish cities that have already implemented similar measures. This initiative is expected to not only improve air quality in the city centre, but also promote greater use of less polluting alternative transport, such as public transport and bicycles.

Expected impact

The establishment of the ZBE is designed to align Bilbao with national and European environmental objectives, contributing significantly to the fight against climate change. Furthermore, it is anticipated that these restrictions will encourage greater environmental awareness among residents and visitors, encouraging more sustainable behaviors in terms of urban mobility.

Complementary measures

Together with the ZBE, Bilbao City Council plans to implement complementary measures to facilitate the transition towards a more accessible urban center and less dependent on private vehicles. These measures will include improving cycling infrastructure, expanding public transport routes, and possibly introducing incentives for the adoption of electric vehicles.

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