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Madrid sets parking and speed restrictions to control pollution

Street parking for non-residents has been banned in central Madrid and speed limits reduced on access highways in a bid to reduce pollution levels that have left the city covered with a murky brown cap that can be seen from miles away.

The town hall said on Friday that it was applying the restrictions after three days of excess levels of nitrogen dioxide.

It called on people to use public transport and said extra bus services were being provided.

The measures were decided late on Thursday and many drivers were caught by surprise when they arrived in the city to find parking meters turned off.

For the second day in a row, the city imposed a speed limit of 40mph (70kph) on access highways, down from the normal limits of 50-56mph (80-90 kph).

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