Milan sets winter anti-pollution regulations

More Lombardy cities agree clean air controls.

Red light from Thursday 15 October until mid-April for the most polluting vehicles – and this year the number of comuni across Lombardy applying the rule will rise from 209 to 570.

Towns and cities already adhering to the scheme – Milan, Bergamo, Brescia, Pavia, Lodi, Cremona and Mantova, with their suburbs – will this year be joined by another 361 comuni in a wide, uninterrupted swathe across the north of the region, from Lago Maggiore to Lago di Garda, from Piedmont to Veneto.

From Thursday, about 700,000 petrol-powered vehicles with Euro 0-class motors and diesels in categories Euro 0, 1 and 2 will be banned from the streets from 07.30 until 19.30 daily, along with some 57,000 motorbikes and scooters. They will still be allowed to run on motorways and main, out-of-town highways, and on roads leading to the car parks of suburban rail or metro stations, but will otherwise risk a fine of between €75 and €450.

LPG, electric and methane-powered vehicles are exempt, as are various categories, from priests to postmen, from doctors and vets on call-out to certified invalids heading for treatment.

Lombardy's restrictions are still not in line with tougher EU recommendations, which ban even the more recent Euro 3 diesels. Only if the pollution sensors record 10 consecutive days of excessive Pm10 levels will Milan apply the brakes to the estimated 400,000 vehicles affected, while no decision on that score has yet been taken by the municipalities of the city’s hinterland.

Regional councillor for environmental affairs Claudia Terzi told La Repubblica daily, “We’re trying to calculate the impact on Lombardy residents of a block on Euro 3 diesels, which are still widely used. The economic situation isn’t good; we’ll discuss the issue with social partners.”