The APR zone in Madrid refers to the different Residential Priority Areas of the city. These limited traffic zones were created to diminish in great part, the levels of pollution (noise as well as atmospheric) that we have in Madrid. This way, the problem of pollution can be avoided, saving us from the negative effects, both on the city and on the citizens. In general, these are different areas for which the flow of vehicles is forbidden.
Warning! Starting from 2018, the APR zone will be renamed Central Madrid. If you want to learn more about the changes and the new traffic regulations in the centre of Madrid, do not hesitate: keep reading!
You can only have access to these restricted areas by car if you are a resident of the area and you have a SER card (Regulated Parking Service). But, do not forget that the card has to be associated with the residential area where the vehicle will be moving. In other words, if you are a resident of one APR zone, you can't drive in an APR zone that you do not live in, even though you have a SER card.
Other vehicles that are allowed to drive through APR zones, have a SER card which characterizes them as zero emission vehicles. This is the case of electric cars, which do not participate in any way whatsoever to the levels of contamination. It is extremely important that drivers of these types of vehicles always carry the corresponding authorisation with them.
Also, taxis and ambulances are authorized to drive around these areas in Madrid. Motorcycles, on the other hand, can move through the different APR zones during a limited schedule, from 7:00 to 22:00.
Vehicles that park in any public or private parking, will have free access to the APR zones without risking a fine (Keep calm my friend). In this case, the car park itself is charged with giving the local government the client's license plate numbers to avoid being fined. If you are going to park in one of the decks in APR zones provided by Parclick, do not worry! Remember that once you enter one of the APR zones, you have to park in one of their car parks (whether they are private or public). If not, you will notice that you drove through the limited access zone without the intention of parking, you will get fined.
Before you continue reading, we would like to add that you are allowed to drive in these restricted areas, if you are staying in a hotel or lodging area in the zone. In these cases, the people in charge of the establishments will ask for the corresponding authorisations.
In total, there are four APR zones in Madrid that you should be aware of. In all these areas, traffic is limited to the vehicles we mentioned above:
The Embajadores area is limited by the Calle Concepción Jerónima, the Calle Atocha, the Antón Martín Plaza, the Glorieta del Emperador Carlos V, the Atocha round-about , the Valencia round-about, the Glorieta de Embajadores, the Toledo round-about and the Segovia Nueva Plaza.
Inside the Embajadores Residential Priority Area, you can park in the following car parks in the centre of Madrid in order to avoid a fine: Cascorro, next to Calle Embajadores and El Rastro, and Primavera, which is close to Calle Atocha.
This area is limited by the Plaza de España, Gran Vía, Callao, Puerta del Sol, Calle del Carmen, Calle Mayor, Plaza de Oriente and Calle Bailén. In the Opera Residential Priority Area, you can book your parking space at the heart of Madrid in Garaje Fermar, two steps from the Plaza Mayor and the Teatro Real.
The Letras Residential Priority Area is marked by various central streets of Madrid: Calle Atocha, Plaza Antón Martín, Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, Calle de La Cruz, Plaza de Canalejas, Carrera de San Jerónimo, Plaza de las Cortes, Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo, Paseo del Prado and Plaza del Emperador Carlos V. In this area you can park in the Homely Atocha car park.
The limits of the Cortes Residential Priority Area are marked by Carrera de San Jerónimo, Plaza de Las Cortes, Plaza de Canalejas, Calle Sevilla, Calle Virgen de los Peligros, Gran Vía, Calle Alcalá, Plaza de Cibeles, Paseo del Prado and Plaza Cánovas del Castillo.
The regulation of vehicles that can access any APR zone in Madrid are monitored by surveillance cameras, that take a photograph of the vehicle´s license plates and compare the numbers with a database of authorised vehicles. In the case of not having the right authorisation, you will be fined. With Parclick, we have different car parks in some of the APR zones of Madrid, which you can directly access and without any problems. So, stop messing about and try out our car park search where you will find the best parking space in the center of Madrid for your trip. Park easily and without stress with Parclick!
“What about the APR zone? Can I drive in the centre of Madrid? What is Central Madrid?” If you have arrived here, that is because you know that the APR areas will be modified starting from November this year and you wish to know how the rules and areas of circulation in the centre will change. Luckily for you, you’re in the right place. In this section you will be able to understand what the Central Madrid area includes, when it will be valid and when it can be accessed.
The idea of Central Madrid is to unite the four current APR zones of Madrid and include the new districts, such as Justicia or the Universidad. The goal of this project is to get rid of the traffic passing through the city, therefore reducing the levels of pollution and noise which for years, have affected many residents in the centre of Madrid. By supressing the road traffic in the areas located between the APR zones, the new perimeter vetoed to traffic is much more intuitive and recognisable. Below, we will show you a photo so that you do not get lost ;)
The main people to benefit from this initiative are that, the residents of the centre of Madrid, people with reduced mobility and the public services. If you are surprised by this, do not worry. The City Council of Madrid has implemented the project in phases: this summer, 1250 plazas of the blue zone were converted into a green zone (priority for residents) and signage works have been carried out to delimit the area. During November of this year, the new regulations will be implemented in Central Madrid, with a manual control used as information for the drivers and residents. In a second phase yet to be defined, the traffic in the centre will start to be monitored by surveillance cameras and only informative letters will be sent (relax, they do not come with a gift) to the drivers who commit offences and make the new low emission zone known to all.
As we discussed above, the Central Madrid perimeter is a lot more intuitive and recognisable than the previous APR Zones. This is especially due to the APR that are in 4 separate zones and at the same time and between them, space free of regulations which made it relatively easy to accidently slip in one of them and receive a fine.
Next, we will show you the streets through which the perimeter of Central Madrid will be formed:
Alberto Aguilera, Glorieta de Ruíz Jiménez, Carranza, Glorieta de Bilbao, Sagasta, Plaza de Alonso Martínez, Génova, Plaza de Colón, Paseo de Recoletos, Plaza de Cibeles, Paseo del Prado, Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo, Paseo del Prado, Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, Ronda de Atocha, Ronda de Valencia, Glorieta de Embajadores, Ronda de Toledo, Glorieta de la Puerta de Toledo, Ronda de Segovia, Cuesta de la Vega, Calle Mayor, Calle Bailén, Plaza de España, Calle Princesa and Calle Serrano Jover.
However, circulation will be allowed in these streets and sections in order to organize the traffic:
- Calle Santa Cruz de Marcenado
- Calle Mártires de Alcalá
- Calle Ventura Rodríguez
- Calle Duque de Liria
- Avenida Gran Vía de San Francisco, Calle Bailén, Calle Algeciras and Cuesta Ramón
As always, the vehicles of residents and those of their guests can access and freely drive around Central Madrid (the residents can invite up to 20 guests per month, which will be processed through the web, the Central Madrid mobile application and by direct message from twitter, as well as with the APR Zones). Also, both cars and motorbikes can have access, under the condition of having an environmental label ZERO and ECO. These labels are used to identify the level of pollution that is produced by each vehicle and are managed by the Directorate General of Traffic. Hence, best to know beforehand which environmental label your vehicle has. Those that have labels B and C can only have access to Central Madrid to park in a private or public car park (you already know that you are in a good place to book your parking space in Madrid).
As for motorcycles and mopeds, if you are a resident, you will be able to access the APR without restrictions and if you are not, but you have a ZERO or ECO label you will still have access. Those that have labels B and C can only access Central Madrid between 7 and 10 PM.
After reading this, we can say that you are now an expert of Central Madrid. Do not get caught by fines!