Milan enjoys car-free Sunday

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Car Rental News - 10/10/2011


Ban comes as the Italian city continues to see worsening smog conditions

Milan saw no traffic on Sunday during a 10-hour driving ban. Officials implemented the measure after its introduction in 2007, when it began a trial which it said it would be put into action whenever smog levels surpassed statutory limits for 12 days in a row. Some 120,000 motorists were affected, according to the newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Milan, where dense smog –some of the worst in Europe- can be easily seen via satellite imagery, had banned vehicles with the highest emissions levels since Thursday last week. But on Sunday, pollution reached 50 micrograms of pollutant particulates per cubic metre for the 12 consecutive day, resulting in all traffic, with the exception of public transport, to be banned from 06:00-16:00 GMT.

Despite the effort, some environmentalists say the city isn’t doing enough to fight pollution, and argue that the Milan public transport system needs to be upgraded and that people should be heavily discouraged from using private vehicles.

Enrico Fedrighini, from the local Green Party, said to Corriere della Sera that cars with three to four people inside should be allowed to park for free, adding that a few car-free Sundays per month wasn’t going to solve Milan’s smog crisis.

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