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Car Ban in Madrid Boosted Retail Sales, Study Shows

An analysis of retail data suggests that vehicle restrictions in the city center led to more sales and less emissions.
March 16, 2019, 11am PDT | Camille Fink
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A new study by the Spanish bank BBVA and the Madrid city council suggests that prohibiting vehicles in the city’s central business district during the 2018 winter holiday season helped local retailers.

An analysis of transactional data shows that retail sales were 9.5 percent higher compared to the two previous years along Gran Vía, a main shopping area, and 3.3 percent higher across the city.

The vehicle restrictions during this period also resulted in improvements in air quality. "The City of Madrid’s imposition of a ‘low-emission zone’ for the Christmas period led to benefits to citizens as well as shops and restaurants – there was a significant fall in air pollution during the period of the experimental motor-traffic restrictions," reports Carlton Reid.

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