Milan city council has lifted the ban on commercial vehicles from circulating in the central city area between the hours of 07.30 and 10.00 and 14.00 and 19.00.

Under the new rules diesel trucks and vans in the Euro 4 and Euro 5 categories and those running on petrol in the Euro 3 category now have free run of the city centre at any hour. In theory the same freedom also applies to diesel vehicles in the Euro 2 and Euro 3 categories providing they install an anti-particulate filter. Only vehicles in the Euro 0 and Euro 1 categories are now banned from the centre.

The city council argues the measure is part of efforts to reduce pollution by creating incentives for owners of commercial vehicles to change to greener models or upgrade their existing vehicles to meet higher environmental standards.

However, opponents say the move undermines efforts to decrease traffic volume and pollution in the centre through the city