Milan pollution crackdown coincides with one-day regional train strike

Milan's commuters face difficult Friday 27 January.

Milan city hall has blocked the circulation of the most polluting vehicles on city roads, starting Thursday 26 January.

This hits commuters at the same time as Trenord has called an eight-hour strike of regional trains on Friday 27 January.

The block on the circulation of traffic within the city's ring roads will remain in force until pollution has dropped to a safer level for two consecutive days.

The train strike affects regional commuter network Trenord, based in Milan and serving the surrounding hinterland.

Trains will stop from 09.00 to 17.00, although those that start their run before 09.00 and are scheduled to arrive at destination by 10.00 will run normally, the company assured travellers.

The strike will also affect air passengers to and from Milan’s Malpensa airport. The popular Malpensa Express service will be substituted with coaches on the routes to Milan Cadorna and to Luino, but these take longer than the express train, and also do not connect with the city’s Centrale railway station.

Metro, bus and tram services operated by Milan transport authority ATM will not be affected.

The vehicles involved in the pollution crackdown are petrol-driven models with Euro 0 certified engines, diesels with Euro 0, 1 and 2 engines, private diesels with Euro 3 engines but without micro-particle filers. The rule applies from 07.30 to 19.30 on all days, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

For commercial vehicles with Euro 3 diesel engines and without micro-particle features, the block will apply only from 07.30 to 09.30.

At the same time, central heating in homes and commercial premises must be limited to a maximum of 19°C, with a tolerance of ±2°C.

“Some 44 per cent of pollution is caused by diesel vehicles,” said councillor Marco Granelli, announcing the measure, “another 25 per cent by oil-fired heating and 16 per cent by industry. Since 2002 we have improved the quality of the air. We’re still a long way from European norms, but with the measures we are taking we can make it.”