Measures such as London’s ultra-low emission zone are good. But only governments can enforce radical change
Madrid was hailed as a public health beacon last November when it rolled out ambitious restrictions on the most polluting cars. Seven months and one election day later, a new conservative city council suspended enforcement of the clean air zone, a first step toward its possible demise.
Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida made opposition to the zone a centrepiece of his election campaign, despite its success in improving air quality. A judge has now overruled the city’s decision to stop levying fines, ordering them reinstated. But with legal battles ahead, the zone’s future looks uncertain at best.