MADRID, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Madrid City Hall on Friday confirmed that it will activate the second level of its anti-pollution protocols after two days of the first stage failed to lower levels of nitrogen dioxide from below 180 micrograms per cubic meter.
The first stage of the protocol places speed limits of 70 kilometers an hour on the M30 ring road and key access roads into and out of the city, while urging residents to use public transport.
The second stage maintains these speed limits and also prohibits non-residents from parking in the central area of the city, known as the Regulated Stationary Service zone (SER) between 9am and 15.00 hours.
Speaking to the press, the Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena asked citizens to comply with the measures of the protocol and explain that the duration or extension of the measures "would depend on how the weather behaves."
Given that Spain is currently under an anti-cyclone with clear skies and low winds and with no rain forecast until next Thursday (November 23rd) at the earliest, it is possible that the City Hall could decide in the coming days to put the third stage of the protocol into practice.
The third stage would only allow citizens to use their cars on alternate days, depending on the last number of their license plate, effectively halving the number of private vehicles on the road.
This is the fourth time that the City Hall has had to put its anti-contamination measures into effect since Sept. 30, with two episodes in October in which the second level of the protocol was also activated, prohibiting parking inside an ample area of the city center.
The last time the protocol was activated on Oct. 24 the second level of the protocol was also applied and restrictions were maintained during five days.