TESTS of a new phone app to manage Benidorm’s new Low Emissions Zone(ZBE) will start in the New Year.

The city- in keeping with other municipalities with populations of 50,000 and over- has to introduce a ZBE to counter pollution in central areas.

Benidorm’s ZBE will cover 74 hectares in the Poniente, Levante and central district, with the city council promising ‘minimal’ disruption as a lot of the sector is pedestrianised and has low emission rules anyway.

There will be three zones: Levante, with 31 hectares, which covers the section of Avenida del Mediterraneo from Europa to Plaza de la Hispanidad, the surrounding streets and the old town.

The Centre area covers 35 hectares, between Avenidas de l’Aiguera and Jaime I; and the Poniente area strip with eight hectares between Avenida Jaime I to Calle Vicente Llorca Alos.

The phone app will start tests on January 1 and users will be able to request authorisation to enter the ZBE as well as receiving car parking and general information.

It’s not known when formal ZBE rules will start with Benidorm council saying the ‘test’ phase will run until at least the summer.

The system will have licence plate and recognition cameras, along with vertical signs designating where the zone begins.

Benidorm mayor, Toni Perez. Said: “The introduction of the ZBE will be progressive and flexible and will adapt to the needs of residents, tourists and the transport sector.”

“It’s about facilitating access to everyone who has a destination and the new app will be available to anybody who needs to travel around the city, “ he added.

Perez used an example of a vehicle needing to go to a wedding at San Jaime church.

“There will be a way for this authorisation to be obtained quickly because this is a ‘marked’ destination,” said the mayor.

Residents within the ZBE will be able to register to get permission to get to their homes without getting a fine and the same will apply to tourists using accommodation within the zone.

Authorisation will also be given for the delivery of goods.

“The ZBE will constantly evolve due to different measures that may have to be taken in the city,” added Perez.

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