Protests meet lifting of Madrid's anti-pollution measures

MADRID (AP) — Protesters have disrupted traffic in downtown Madrid where the new conservative city council is scrapping bans and fines for polluting vehicles.

Activists with banners sat down in the street during the morning rush-hour Monday around the Madrid Central part of the Spanish capital where the pollution-reducing measures had been in place for the past seven months.

Ending the traffic restrictions was a campaign pledge of the administration of Popular Party mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, which took office last month.

The city council says it is imposing a three-month moratorium on the vehicle bans and fines while it reviews the system.

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Thousands of people demonstrated against the new policy over the weekend.

Other European cities have also introduced vehicle restrictions in downtown areas in an effort to improve air quality.

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