Milan prepares for Area B limited traffic zone

New limitations to start on 25 February.

Milan, Europe’s second most polluted city, is about to take another step to reduce smog by restricting access to the city by the “dirtiest” vehicles.

Although the city centre – known as Area C – has been a ZTL or limited traffic zone since 2013, this has not proved enough to clean the atmosphere. City authoorities have now decided to extend the zone to cover most of the city surface area, now to be called Area B, and to impose stricter exclusions.

Starting on 25 February, petrol-powered vehicles with engines of emission class Euro 0 or older will no longer be allowed to circulate in Milan. The same rule will apply to diesel engines of class Euro 0 to Euro 3, and mixed-fuel vehicles running on diesel/LPG and diesel/methane of classes Euro 0 to Euro 2.

The block will apply on weekdays from Monday to Friday, from 07.30 to 19.30.

Permits will be available to residents, shift workers whose hours make using public transport impossible, patients travelling for medical treatment and – for a limited number of days per year – to drivers resident outside the city limits. But these drivers will all need to apply for special permits.

Full details of the exclusions and exceptions are available (in Italian) on the dedicated page of the city hall website.

At 16 of the 189 street entry points to Zone B, CCTV cameras have already been installed, capable of photographing transgressors and identifying them by their licence plate.  The other 173 points will see cameras installed over the coming months.

Eleven of Milan’s 23 car parks at bus or metro stations are outside the new Area B, giving commuters from the city’s surrounding countryside a chance to reach their workplace by public transport.

Further limitations will be introduced in six steps, starting on 1 October 2019 and continuing until 1 October 2030, with each step adding to the categories banned.