Pollution brings traffic restrictions in Milan and Lombardy

Milan signs up for zero-emissions target for 2030.

The weekend’s rain and wind brought only a brief respite – the level of PM10 particles in the air has returned above an acceptable level and the traffic blocks have been triggered automatically under regional environmental rules.

Until the pollution shows a steady improvement – unlikely in the short term, say the forecasters – older vehicles, in particularly diesel powered, will be banned from Lombardy roads from 08.30 to 18.30, seven days a week.

The vehicles involved are diesels for transport of persons and with engines up to and including class Euro 5, and diesel-powered goods vehicles up to and including class Euro 4.  An additional block on goods vehicles up to and including class Euro 3 will apply from 08.30 to 12.30.

But road traffic is not the only cause of pollution. Wood-fired heating using fuel classed below the 4-star level is also banned. Central heating must be adjusted to not exceed an indoor temperature of 19°C.

Meanwhile, at the annual C40 environmental summit in Paris, which ended on 23 October, Milan signed up to a pact with 11 other major cities across the world to aim for zero-emission zones by the year 2030.  Along with Paris, London, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Seattle, Mexico City, Copenhagen, Cape Town, Los Angeles and Auckland, Milan is committed to creating greener and healthier territories with no fossil fuels.