Milan plans crackdown on city centre traffic

Milan’s “Area B” to be launched in 2019.

Starting next 29 January, Milan will have not only an Area C limited traffic zone, but all around it a new zone dubbed “Area B”.

The new zone – known as an LEZ, or low emissions zone – will cover some 72 per cent of Milan’s area, far more than the Area C limited traffic zone in the city centre in effect since 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some 185 closed-circuit TV cameras will check that petrol-powered vehicles with emission class Euro-0 and diesels with Euro-0, 1, 2 and 3 engines do not enter the city from 07.30 to 19.30, Monday to Friday, holidays excluded.

Planning further ahead, passenger vehicles with Euro-4 motors will be added to the banned categories in October 2019, and Euro-4 goods vehicles in October 2020.

To help Milan motorists understand the new rules, their first entry will not bring a fine, but a letter from city hall explaining the system: Milan residents will be able to sign up for 25 entries a year without fines, and non-residents for five.  But after that, transgressors will have to pay up.

Area C brought a reduction of 30 per cent in traffic, 28 per cent in road accidents, and almost 50 per cent of particularly polluting vehicles, explained city councillor Marco Granelli.

Environmental experts calculate that the new restrictions will save 15 tons of the PM10 particles, which play havoc with residents’ health, between 2019 and 2021. And the ban will save a huge 420 tons of NOx nitrogen oxides produced in exhaust fumes, causing emphysema or bronchitis and aggravating existing heart diseases, between 2023 and 2025.

At the same time, city hall has earmarked a fund of €7 million to provide incentives to buy hybrid, electric, LPG, methane and Euro-6 class petrol vehicles.