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On Restrictions and Future Royal Decrees

Last Saturday we celebrated the Heritage Days at the meeting organized by ClassicAuto-ERMevents at the Real Aeroclub of the Cuatro Vientos Aerodrome, in Madrid. There, the Spanish Federation of Ancient Vehicles (FEVA) coordinated a colloquium in which they debated, on the one hand, about the future of the circulation of classic vehicles in cities and, on the other, about the foreseeable new Royal Decree to modify or replace the current Regulation of Historic Vehicles.

First of all, I remind you what is FEVA: It is the Spanish delegation of the International Federation of Antique Vehicles (FIVA), which is made up of around 300 Spanish amateur clubs; that is, FEVA members are clubs and not individuals, who are already members of those clubs. FEVA's mission is to protect the historic automotive heritage and safeguard the rights of classic vehicle owners nationwide. To do this, he uses the strength that the clubs he represents give him.

Second, you may also want to refresh your memory about what Heritage Days: It is about the celebration of the Classic Vehicle during a weekend of September, which is carried out through the organization of activities in different countries by the FEVA / FIVA clubs and the distribution of a common number that gives the citizenship an appearance of union and international defense of our historical heritage.

Royal Decree: Will to empower ITV

With the 'introductions' done, let's move on to what matters. With respect to the foreseeable new Royal Decree to modify or replace the current Historical Vehicles Regulation, FEVA reported that the interest comes mainly from the Ministry of Industry and not so much from the General Directorate of Traffic. As the latter is the one responsible for its drafting, it is possible that some time will elapse before its final approval. (We were already talking about this in 2014!). Of course, the reader should know that the age requirement to register a vehicle as Historic will very possibly increase. up to 30 years old, something that is in line with what is contemplated in the rest of the countries around us.

On the other hand, the Administration wants the cataloging clubs and laboratories to give part of their certifying power to the ITV, which would be in charge of preparing the reduced technical sheets for a certain vehicle to be declared as Historic. This happens because, according to the Administration, some specialized entities are not being sufficiently demanding in terms of status and originality; but, unfortunately, ITV engineers are not experts in old vehicles which will make it necessary to find a middle point such as accreditation via FIVA token, although many are not convinced of this solution.

An alarming precedent What FEVA revealed is that some ITVs are denying the classification as Historic Vehicle to vehicles between 25 and 30 years old. This happens because the drafts that the different working groups are preparing to modify or replace the current regulations are taken as already approved, at least in this regard. Obviously it is not applicable, so we are advised in the event that it happens is to request a written record of the refusal and then seek administrative and / or legal protection.

Photo: Alberto Ferreras

Traffic restrictions in big cities

On the other hand, last Saturday's colloquium spoke at length about the issue of road traffic restrictions in large cities. First of all, I think it is necessary to emphasize that these types of policies are only likely to be applied in the most important Spanish cities, such as Barcelona or Madrid. In the rest of the country we can be calm, because it is unlikely that we will be denied access.

As a paradigmatic example, Madrid City Council has recently approved an ambitious plan to improve air quality. The so-called Plan A has been designed to deal with the serious pollution problem that the capital has, and from 'The Escudería' we consider it necessary. Fundamentally, this plan consists of delimiting a large Residential Priority Area (APR) that comprises the central core of the city and that intends to drastically limit passing traffic. This 'passing traffic' is important, because if you go to a public car park you can circulate without problem, at least initially.

Plan A will begin to apply in June of 2018 and it will mean that only residents, people with reduced mobility, public transport, taxis, commercial vehicles, cars with a VTC driver license, electric vehicles, shared vehicle initiatives such as Car2go or Emov, users with seats will be able to circulate through the APR. rented parking and motorcycles during daytime hours.

The plan will be progressively expanded until in 2020 all vehicles that do not have an environmental label from the DGT are prohibited from parking in the green and blue squares of the Regulated Parking System (SER) throughout the municipality (be careful, not only in the APR!). Vehicles without access to the well-known environmental badge are all those registered before the year 2000 and the diesel ones registered before 2006.

By 2025, only green zero-emission vehicles and those that have an environmental label will be able to circulate in the municipality. All these measures will be aimed at improving air quality, energy efficiency, giving more space to pedestrians and bicycles and also forcing the renewal of a large part of the fleet of vehicles that must move around the city. In short, to contribute to making the sustainable city.

How do the restrictions affect us?

This undoubtedly affects us. But I do not think that we should shout to the sky: To begin with, it must be borne in mind that vehicles registered as Historic will probably be exempt from the restrictions. On the other hand, and according to FEVA, important figures of the DGT are in favor of creating a specific environmental label for classic vehicles that, we believe, will carry some other privilege in this regard. They will not give it to everyone, and there will continue to be restrictions, but at least it reflects the consideration of our heritage.

Madrid City Council technicians have shown interest in recognizing its historical importance and FEVA, apparently, has proposed the Parisian model. As we published a few months ago the French capital knew how to rectify in time to exempt from the restrictions all those vehicles with more than 30 years. It is the most reasonable thing: As we defended three years ago after the controversial statements by Sixt and Continental motor vehicles with more than 30 years old hardly circulate.

Legal news regarding the age of classic vehicles 2014
Photo: Alberto Ferreras

As we said, it is unlikely that the city council will accept the total freedom of Paris but, whatever it decides, it will be a first step to achieve it in the future. You start with something and the truth is that our automobile culture is inferior to the French one; This being the case, pedagogy will have to be done so that the assertions that are taken for granted in the neighboring country are accepted here as well. It is a matter of time and perseverance for which fans must be patient and not lose good manners.

You also have to think that we do not usually exercise our right to circulate in big cities very frequently. The normal thing is that when we take out our old vehicles once a week or every 15 days we go to quieter environments and, above all, with beautiful roads. Quite the opposite of the stress and confinement of, for example, Madrid. Another thing is that we use a classic daily, But that is no longer the problem of a city council that in the last 20 years has built numerous deterrent car parks on the outskirts and put in place public transport systems that meet its requirements regarding restrictions. In other words, there are alternatives and, given the very high level of pollution, their use is common sense.

Anyway, you are going to lynch us but this is what we think in this humble digital magazine. Any input or debate in the comments will be well received while we wait for FEVA to bring the national and regional negotiations to fruition. We will keep you informed of the news that you communicate to us.

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Written by javier romagosa

My name is Javier Romagosa. My father has always been passionate about historic vehicles and I have inherited his hobby, while growing up among classic cars and motorcycles. I have studied journalism and continue to do so as I want to become a university professor and change the world ... Read More

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