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Madrid to lift unprecedented car restrictions as smog eases

A layer of smog covers the skyline as a man walks at the Tio Pio park at sunrise in Madrid, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016. Madrid ordered a circulation ban on vehicles with plates ending in an even number for Thursday owing to excess levels of nitrogen dioxide in what was a first for a Spanish city. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Madrid civic leaders said smog levels in the Spanish capital have dropped enough to allow the city to end unprecedented restrictions on vehicle circulation.

The city's environment councillor Ines Sabanes said Thursday's ban on vehicles with plates ending in an even number will not be extended.

Other measures, including a ban on street parking for non-residents and reduced speed limits, will continue.

Madrid ordered the traffic limits, a first for a Spanish city, due to excess levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air.

Ms Sabanes said weather conditions continued to be poor, mainly due to a lack of rain and wind, and authorities will continue to monitor the situation.

Photo: Press Association