The speed limit of the highways in Barcelona’s Metropolitan Area is increased

The previous Left-Wing Catalan Government had set a maximum speed limit of 80 km/h for the highways inside Barcelona’s Metropolitan Area. Less pollution and fewer accidents were the measure’ aims. However now, after some controversy, the current Centre-Right Government changed the measure and today cars are able to circulate at 120 km/h again.


February 14, 2011 11:17 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- A new and higher speed limit comes into force today inside Barcelona’s Metropolitan Area. The weather conditions delayed the maximum speed limit’s increase by one week because the system decreases the maximum depending on the air pollution as well as traffic density. The previous Left-Wing Catalan Government set a zone with a maximum speed of 80 km/h inside Barcelona’s Metropolitan Area in January 2008. With the old system, the 80 km/h speed limit could be decreased if the traffic density obliged it to do so, in order to ease car mobility upon entry to the city. Now, the new Centre-Right Catalan Government has changed the measure and has increased the speed limit. The latter was an electoral promise. The new system does not completely eliminate the 80 km/h limit, as some previously understood and some said. The new system gradually increases the speed limit outside the centre of Barcelona. It fixes a first zone with a limit of 80 km/h, another with a 100 km/h limit and another one with 120 km/h. However, the rule changes depending on two variables: the air pollution and the traffic density. When they are high, the speed limit decreases. In fact, the new system started last week, but the speed limit was not raised from 80 to 100 and 120 km/h precisely because the air pollution was high these last days due to weather conditions.

As of today, drivers in Barcelona can drive again at 120 km/h on the Castelldefels and Garraf highways (South Barcelona). At two o’clock last night, the highways C-31 South and C-32 South were the first ones to increase their speed limit from 80 to 100 or 120 km/h, depending on the place, thanks to the light panels. These measure was meant to start a week ago but the anticyclone on Catalonia increased the air pollution and thus technicians advised against increasing the car speed limit in order to reduce the gas emissions.

In a few hours, the C-31 North, known as the Maresme highway (north Barcelona), will also see its speed limit increase, as technicians are finishing installing the new road signs. However, when the road crosses dense urban areas, the speed limit will still be 80km/h, as flats are very close to the highway and the noise would be too loud for the neighbours.