Control of limited traffic zone in the historical centre

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID

FUN 3.1




Thematic areas

Demand & urban space management
  • Parking management and pricing


The goal of this measure was to change the current low traffic zone access system to a moreefficient and modern which consists of retractable bollards, a license plate recognitionsystem, and a software management system. This system is innovative, since at regionallevel, this is the first time that this type of system is implemented in a public space.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Funchal has set up a restricted traffic zone in the city centre that can only be accessed by authorised vehicles at specific times during the day. The former system was however not efficient because it relies on padlock bollards that needed to be operated manually. As a result, unauthorised vehicles were accessing the restricted traffic zone regularly.

With CIVITAS-MIMOSA, Funchal has implemented a new control system that has the capacity to enforce access restrictions in the limited traffic zone.
The main objectives of the automatic control system were to:
• Improve access, safety and security;
• Reduce traffic in the city centre;
• Protect and promote the city’s historical heritage;
• Improve the quality and image of life in the city centre to the benefit of residents, local shoppers and visitors.
The new system is controlled remotely with the support of a software that can recognise authorised vehicles. It is an innovative measure in Funchal that has improved security and safer access for authorised vehicles.


The measure was implemented in the following stages:
Identification of a pilot zone - Given the fact that this was a measure that was a pilot test, two zones with different characteristics were chosen: a zone formed by a single road with a total length of 90 meters, and another zone that covers five roads with a total length of approximately 550 meters. Both areas are located in a commercial area, including also some historic buildings. In addition to these functions, both also include residential areas. Both the selected streets had already traffic restrictions, such as a specific entrance period and the existence of removable bollards in the streets to prevent illegal accesses outside the authorized period.
Implementation of the system - Following the tender process and the subsequent choice of the company that implemented the automatic control system, during the first months of 2012, the company proceeded to deploy the devices. The new system is comprised of an automatic retractable bollard, a camera, an intercommunication device and a database in which all the allowed vehicles are registered. The camera is used for identification of the car plates of registered users.
The database that feeds the system distinguish vehicles for emergency, service monitoring and registered residents. The software allows the opening/closing of the bollards and records the number of entries and length of stay for each registered vehicle, among other indicators.
The access control system represents an effective way to manage and control the city´s LTZ, since the license plate recognition system is more suitable than a conventional card. Given the efficiency of the system, it is expected that this system will be deployed in other streets.


The number of entries has decreased: after the system implementation, in September of 2012, 219 vehicles entered the LTZ, which is an average of 8,76 vehicles per day as opposed to the 20 vehicles prior to the system implementation. As for the noise assessment, the measurements conducted revealed a decrease of 4,1 Db during the day. Also, there was an increase of 8,3 p.p in the percentage of people that considers the automatic control system very useful (2011 and 2012). The evaluation also included a traffic count that was carried on before and after the implementation. Before the implementation, the traffic counts revealed that 20 cars entered on a daily basis, while after the implementation, 8,75 vehicles entered the limited access zone.
Furthermore, the new access control system has contributed to a better management of the LTZ, since it allows the Municipality to control the access remotely and prevent all sorts of abuse. Additionally, the software collects a lot of data, such as the number of entries, parking time and vehicle classification, among other indicators.


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