Access to Valencia Old Town will be restricted beginning December 1st, with fines of 60 euros imposed for anyone entering without a permit. And you can only claim ignorance once.
As of December 1, the Valencia City Council will fine unregistered vehicles that enter the priority area of the Ciutat Vella district with fines of 60 euros, which will be reduced to 30 for prompt payment. The City Council has announced the start of monitoring access to Valencia Old Town for the record third time.
Until then, and between October 18 and November 30, a preliminary information phase will begin. Vehicle owners who enter Valencia Old Town without being registered will be notified, but only once without being fined. This will change in December, when anyone entering without a permit will be charged.
When the system is fully operational, it will have been more than a year since the monitoring of entry to Valencia Old Town was first made official. The project was announced in November of last year, but it never went live due to a variety of technical issues.
So far, over 4,400 entry permit applications have been processed, with 75% of them already approved: 1,818 from residents registered in the area, 1,248 from companies carrying out activities in the Valencia Old Town, and 852 from tenants of homes or parking lots.
The city’s 3,087 taxis have been automatically included, and emergency vehicles are exempt from registration, allowing them to operate without authorization.
There is a deadline for those who did not apply for the permit on time. They will have an additional five days after entering the area to obtain their permit, and if they do not, they will be fined regardless of the reason for their entry.
According to the City Council, this measure aims to improve conditions and air quality in Valencia Old Town, as well as reduce noise and contribute to the recovery of pedestrian space, in order to achieve more “friendly” suburbs.
Valencia hopes to be well on its way to meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda and the commitment to reduce polluting emissions, which have been set by European and Spanish governments. The new Ecological Transition Law requires all municipalities with a population of more than 50,000 people to have a low-emission zone.
This measure has been harshly criticised by the opposition Partido Popular, which sees it as yet another tax collection effort and the final straw for the area’s businesses, already under enormous strain as a result of the Corona pandemic.
According to PP, the timing is extremely bad, with two major renovations in the Valencia Old Town (Plaza de la Reina and Mercado Central) and two major car parks closed, and the measure will result not only in complete chaos in the city centre, but also in job losses and business closures.
The recent changes in public transportation routes, as well as the elimination of 15 EMT lines that no longer reach the centre, will make the Valencia Old Town inaccessible and reduce the thin trade that still exists in surviving businesses in the post-Corona era.