Madrid and Barcelona to limit two-wheeler access to city centres

The new rules, designed to reduce congestion and pollution, will come into play on Friday

AS OF this Friday, entering the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Madrid on a two-wheeler will become a lot more difficult.

Currently, Madrid features a number of APRs (Áreas de Prioridad Residencial), areas where non-residents are not allowed to drive, and speed limits on roads into the capital have been lowered in order to cut pollution.

Until now, motorcycles have been exempt from any restrictions, but that is due to change on this Friday, 30 November 2018. According to Spain’s motorcycle association, the AMM (Asociación Mutua Motera), Madrid will extend its current APRs into one big APR, called Central Madrid. The new APR will cover practically the entire downtown area of Madrid and motorcycles will be party to the new regulations.

Residents who live within this zone will be allowed to enter in their vehicles but must only park in their own neighbourhood. Non-residents whose vehicles hold CERO and ECO energy labels may also enter the area. And those with B or C energy labels may only enter the zone to park in a private or public parking lot.

For motorcycles, these classification labels are defined as:

Zero: electric with a range of 40 km or more

ECO: electric with a range of less than 40 km

C: internal combustion, Euro 3 or Euro 4 regulation

B: internal combustion, Euro 2 regulation

And motorcycles that were registered before 2003 will be completely banned from the city centre (38.79% of motorcycles in Madrid are registered before 1 July 2003 and have no classification), whereas those registered after that date can only enter the city between 07.00-22.00h. People found to be riding a bike into the city without the correct environmental classification label will be fined 90 Euros.

Currently, there are only 1,625 electric motorcycles and 897 electric mopeds in Madrid – out of 350,164 registered motorcycles and 94,113 registered mopeds.

Under the new rules, motorcycle parking on pavements will also be restricted. However, Madrid only has 6,500 dedicated parking spaces for motorcycles.

Of the three quarters of a million people who commute into Madrid to work every day; approximately 32,250 of these use a motorcycle or other powered two-wheeler.

The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Association believe that motorcycles should be considered in the Authorities’ ‘mobility mix’, as they do not stand still in traffic jams nor ride around looking for a parking space.