Lombardy: red light for diesels until March 2019

3 mn vehicles banned in Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna.

In a turn of the screw in the fight against air pollution, new rules come into effect from Monday 1 October until 31 March 2019 banning some three million vehicles from the roads in towns and cities across Italy’s four northernmost regions.

Throughout the winter, all diesel vehicles with Euro 3 class motors (and even petrol vehicles with Euro 0 engines) or older will have to stay in the garage, or at least stay clear of the larger towns, all day from 07.30 to 19.30, Monday to Friday.

In Lombardy, apart from all 209  municipalities in Zone A, Fascia 1, the block will hit Varese, Lecco, Vigevano, Abbiategrasso and San Giuliano Milanese among the 361 smaller municipalities in Zone A, Fascia 2.

The inflexible rule – it won’t depend on daily pollution measurements, but will be in permanent force – will affect some 2,260,000 cars and 790,000 vans and trucks in Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna.  In Milan province alone, the ban will hit 32,500 cars and 12,500 vans. Even more will be affected in Emilia Romagna, where the regional government has extended the ban to cover Euro 4 diesels.

There are some exceptions made for medics and vets on urgent call-out, shift-workers whose working hours make it impossible to use public transport, priests, and cars with at least three persons on board. Moreover, not all municipalities have yet implemented the administrative details.

Motorists defying the ban risk a fine of up to €658.

But how do you tell whether your car is affected? If you know how to read the technical details in your car’s logbook (libretto di circolazione), you can tell at once, although it’s not easy: sometimes the manufacturer doesn’t quote the Euro class, but instead quotes some other European norm, and in other cases single models may be covered by an exemption. 

The safest way to be certain is to check on the Automobile Club (ACI) website: on this page you can enter the licence plate number and obtain an immediate read-out of your motor’s Euro class.