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Madrid environmental zones 2015 – more limited traffic zones (APR) also in Sol and Palacio neighbourhoods of the Spanish capital

In order to reduce the use of private vehicles in favour of public transportation in the Spanish capital, Madrid limited traffic zone, also known as APR (Área de Prioridad Residencial) will extend to two more neighbourhoods. From 1 January 2015 traffic restrictions will apply in the areas of Sol and Palacio.

Driving in Madrid
Congested traffic on the streets of Madrid © Photo: Find-cheap-car-hire.co.uk

Driving bans for non-residents are already in force in Embajadores, Cortes and Barrio de las Letras in Madrid city centre. The first APR area was established in Cortes and Las Letras in 2005, the Embajadores neighbourhood followed in 2006.

Due to Madrid’s struggle with traffic congestion and high pollution levels, apart from the inclusion of Sol and Palacio neighbourhoods in the APR /limited traffic area, other parts of the city are expected to be closed off to vehicle traffic in the future.

Madrid APR areas
This sign in Madrid means no access for private cars or rental cars if the owner of the car / renter of the car is not a resident in the area.

Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol in Madrid closed to non-resident traffic 
Some of the most important landmarks od Madrid, such as Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol, as well as the road network surrounding them fall within the restricted traffic area from 1 January 2015.

Madrid APR map
Map of Madrid APR zones from January 2015.

The access to the limited traffic zones for non-residents is still possible, however only on major roads in each area, marked pink in the map above. Those are known in Spanish as ‘calles de libre circulación’ and provide access to parking areas. Non-residents driving a private vehicle who do not park in an APR zone and merely circulate are liable to fine of EUR90.

More environmental zones in Spain’s capital, less driving in Madrid
The plans to limit private vehicle traffic in Madrid city centre go far beyond the current restrictions. The mayor of Madrid, Ana Botello has already announced her intention to extend the APR zone to the area of Universidad and Justicia areas, before she leaves the office in May 2015.

Facts about APR zones in Madrid (traffic restrictions for private cars)

  • Motorcycles are allowed to circulate in APR zones Monday to Sunday 7:00 to 20:00
  • Designated major roads of each APR zone allow access to privat / rented cars in order to reach the parking area
  • There is a total of 13 parking areas in Madrid environmental zones to be used by the visitors / non-residents in both private and rental cars
  • Guests with a hotel booking are allowed to drive to the hotel in an APR zone, provided that the hotel has parking
  • Delivery services are allowed in Madrid restricted traffic zones between 10 am to 1 pm on weekdays
  • Public transportation (including taxis) operates without restrictions in Madrid APR zones

Fine for driving in Madrid limited traffic area / APR zone 
Madrid’s APR zones are monitored by traffic camera which register the number plate of each vehicle. Non-residents driving in the restricted traffic areas of central Madrid incur a fine of 90 euros.

See also: Cheap car hire Madrid – compare offers rent-a-car Plaza de España


Madrid environmental zones 2015 – more limited traffic zones (APR) also in Sol and Palacio neighbourhoods of the Spanish capital
Article: Madrid environmental zones 2015 – more limited traffic zones (APR) also in Sol and Palacio neighbourhoods of the Spanish capital
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Published: Thursday, October 02 2014
Latest revision: Thursday, October 02 2014

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