Free access until new rules come into effect Monday 13 February.
Vehicle access to Milan’s “Area C” historic centre will be free of charge until midnight on Sunday 12 February, when the new access rules come into effect.
The freeing of access has been scheduled to allow the computerised control system to be updated to reflect the new rules, and to give city workers time to renew the signposting.
Mayor Beppe Sala announced the plan to tighten access to Area C in October. Despite protests from opposition councillors, the introduction of charges for vehicles powered by LPG and methane – exempt from limitations in most cities – has been confirmed.
Several other restrictions, however, have been applied with a grace period to give owners time to make other arrangements or buy less polluting vehicles. Owners of Euro 3 class diesel-powered vehicles who are resident in the city centre, for example, will continue to be allowed free access, but only up to 15 October 2017. The same applies to light commercial transport or maintenance vehicles with Euro 4 diesels without micro-particle filters.
Other classes of vehicle in the commercial sector will enjoy grace periods of up to October 2018.
City hall has repeated its reasoning behind the tightening of access: the urgent need to reduce atmospheric pollution and traffic congestion in the centre, especially during the disruption to nearby streets caused by the construction of new metro stations.
Full “small print” details of exceptions allowed to the new regulations are listed (in Italian) on the dedicated city hall website. At the time of our going to press, the English version has not yet been updated.