The types of vehicles permitted to enter the city centre and the access rules

The City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has definitively approved the project for the Low Emissions Zone (ZBE) on Monday, with a European grant of 1,278,000 euros. The implementation of this project is scheduled over a period of 10 years.

The approval comes after considering some of the objections received during the 30-day period in which the project was made available for public review, as stated by the City Council.

It is a project mandatory for all municipalities and island territories with a population exceeding 50,000 residents. The contract for the project was awarded in December 2022 to the UTE, consisting of Tema Ingeniería and Wawa Consultores en Movilidad, for 71,751 euros. These entities will also oversee the project implementation.

The Mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez, has mentioned that the full execution of the project hinges on the development of a specific regulation. He has praised the city for meeting the deadlines set by the EU with the allocated funding, making it the only Canarian municipality to do so.

Consequently, he has urged the Government of the Canary Islands to coordinate the implementation of Low Emission Zones across the archipelago to ensure equal application of this new mobility concept in major cities.

José Manuel Bermúdez further states that “certain municipalities are uncertain about the legality of decisions regarding the Low Emissions Zone, and hence, we require the regional government to act on this issue to establish uniform criteria.”

Carlos Tarife, the Councillor for Public Services, Environmental Sustainability, and Strategic Planning, details that the project involves nearly 30 access control points, complete with security cameras and parking regulations.

The project outlines that vehicles permitted to enter, circulate, and park on the surface within the Low Emissions Zone, marked and identified accordingly, mainly include essential public service vehicles. These vehicles can access without municipal authorization.

This category encompasses State security forces, Local Police and mobility agents, firefighting services, civil protection and rescue units, ambulances, other emergency vehicles, municipal tow trucks, private security cars, and vehicles used by healthcare emergency professionals.

Authorizations will also be granted to vehicles of businesses and self-employed individuals operating within the Low Emissions Zone, municipal markets in the area, and guests invited by them as per established regulations and mobility needs.

Vehicles required for medical appointments, treatments, and visits to veterinary centres will be allowed access based on their mobility needs.

Additionally, commercial vehicles complying with the environmental regulations specified for urban goods distribution during set periods will be permitted entry during the designated times as per the regulations.

Regulation of the Low Emission Zone

Ongoing surveillance, facilitated by monitoring, will enable the assessment of the Low Emission Zone’s implementation and the planned measures, as well as its environmental impact. It will also allow for adjustments to enhance its effectiveness, according to the council.

This can be accomplished by using indicators to track the progress of air quality linked to road traffic at monitoring stations. The indicators will monitor the levels of various pollutants detected at the municipality’s monitoring points.

Currently, there are 10 monitoring stations located across the metropolitan area as part of the Canary Islands Air Quality Control and Surveillance Network. Additionally, the proposal includes installing monitoring nodes within the Low Emission Zone.

Furthermore, noise and energy efficiency indicators will be put in place to assess the expected energy savings resulting from each measure implemented within the Low Emission Zone.

The council’s next course of action will involve publishing the agreement in the Official Gazette of the Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and on the City Council’s website. They will also inform the ministries of Ecological Transition and Energy and of Public Works, Housing, and Mobility of the Government of the Canary Islands.

Additionally, notifications will be sent to the departments of Natural Environment, Sustainability, Security, Emergencies, and Mobility of the Cabildo de Tenerife.

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