The tunnels of the M-30 have substantially modified the most popular ring road in Spain. Its more than 32 kilometres surround the centre of Madrid and host around 1,500,000 vehicles every day.
In 2004, the Madrid City Council took ownership of the road, transferred by the Ministry of Development, and began to remodel it by burying traffic in several sections.
The last tunnel was inaugurated in 2007, just over three years after the start of the road works. Four had been built, including the Manzanares Tunnel, the South Bypass, the North Bypass and the one on Portugal Avenue.
Together they make up the largest network of urban tunnels in Europe, accumulating 48 km of track and, since its opening, they have contributed to improve the traffic of the city, as well as the quality of life of the residents.
Tunnels of the M-30: 10 benefits they have brought to Madrid
There are many aspects that have improved the quality of life in the city. Below are ten reasons to consider them as a clear success in local planning.
Probably, one of the biggest advantages brought by the tunnels has been the reduction of traffic jams and holdups, contributing to a smoother flow of vehicles.
Their function is, among others, to hide a large flow of traffic that previously invaded the city at street level. Without a doubt, the reduction of vehicles on the surface has improved the visual impact of Madrid.
Another key factor in burying the roads has been the improvement in the acoustic conditions for residents and pedestrians, as they remove a significant amount of noise derived from heavy traffic and traffic jams.
They not only place Madrid at the top of Europe because of their length, but also their energy efficiency. The 80 tons of CO2 per day that are no longer released into the air thanks to the tunnels, puts the city at the front line of the fight against environmental pollution.
Green areas have grown on the surface thanks to the underground roads. In addition to releasing fewer toxins, they contribute to the generation of small urban lungs and park or recreational areas where previously there were multi-lane avenues.
Another of the great advantages they bring is timesaving. Their entrances and exits are simple to take and their direct circulation benefit the driver, whose trips are shorter than before.
The efficiency of the tunnels also applies to road safety. There are fewer collisions with victims and the number of accidents has been halved.
In long commuting, one of the issues that consumes more time and energy is exiting the city. Since 2007, this has become more comfortable and convenient.
The south section links several population nodes in a much more direct way. Moving from one neighbourhood to another is easier and faster.
The central districts inside the M-30 have seen a decrease in traffic, which allows more pedestrian streets.
In short, these are some advantages that the tunnels of the M-30 have brought to Madrid. Obviously, they have meant a substantial improvement on the city’s infrastructures and communications, making the daily life of the residents easier and more pleasant.