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Portuguese Low Emission Zones explained

In Portugal, the environmental zones are called Zona de Emissões Reduzidas (ZER) (Emission Reduced Zone). There are only two of them, the smaller and stricter one being within the larger one. Both are located in Lisbon and are bordered by the River Tagus to the south.

They apply from Monday to Saturday from 7am to 9pm. The first zone, Lisbon 1, is called ABC, which is an abbreviation for Avenida, Baixa and Chiada and also indicates where the zone is located. It runs in a wide strip to the right and left along the Avenida da Liberdade, which is joined to the south by the two old town districts of Baixa and Chiada. In the ZER ABC, only vehicles (of all classes) whose pollutant emissions correspond to at least Euroclass 3 have access. To prevent traffic in the surrounding neighbourhoods from coming to a standstill, the driving ban does not apply to the major crossroads that cut through the area from east to west. This avoids the need to drive around the zone on a large scale, which would pollute the surrounding area.

The larger Lisbon 2 low emission zone encompasses the old centre of Lisbon in a large semicircle and therefore also the Lisbon 1 zone. Somewhat more lax rules apply here: It is sufficient if the vehicle complies with Euronorm 2. If you don't have the right Euro class and you still drive into the zone, you could face fines of up to 120 euros. The good news is that you can also retrofit your vehicle with a particle filter that upgrades the engine to a higher Euro class.

Lisbon wants to keep the old town free of cars and pollutants. It is to be expected that the two environmental zones in Lisbon will continue to develop and that a tightening of the rules in the zones will soon follow. Keep up to date with the developments with our Green Zones App!