Madrid: Madrid on Wednesday temporarily banned the oldest, most polluting vehicles from driving its streets, two weeks after new driving restrictions were introduced to fight air pollution in the centre of the Spanish capital.

The latest bid to reduce emissions comes as the city battles acutely high pollution levels, partly due to little wind.

Under the ban, gas vehicles made before 2000 and diesel vehicles manufactured before 2006 were prohibited from the city centre and surrounding M-30 ring road until Thursday daytime, the city hall said.

Cars meeting these criteria account for 17 per cent of Madrid’s vehicles.

It is the first time that the city’s authorities have activated stage two of its new anti-pollution protocol which came into effect in October.

In addition to this protocol, Madrid’s left-wing city hall last month launched a separate traffic restriction scheme in the historic city centre, which aims to reduce gas emissions by 40 per cent. AFP

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