Car-free Sunday for smog-struck Milan

Milan's cathedral Milan is one of Europe's most polluted cities

Related Stories

The northern Italian city of Milan banned all traffic from its streets for 10 hours on Sunday in an attempt to reduce smog.

The measure, first imposed on a trial basis in 2007, is triggered whenever pollution exceeds the statutory limit for 12 consecutive days.

Satellite imagery shows Milan to be one of the most polluted cities in Europe.

An estimated 120,000 vehicles will be affected by the move, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The most polluting vehicles have been banned from driving through the city centre since Thursday.

But on Sunday, there was no traffic between 0800 and 1800 local time (06:00-16:00 GMT).

The ban is imposed when pollution exceeds 50 micrograms of particulates per cubic metre of air over 12 days. The last time the full ban was in force was in February.

Locator map

The move is not popular with all environmentalists, who argue that the city's public transport system should be improved to discourage people from using their cars.

Local Green Party councillor Enrico Fedrighini said cars with three or four people inside should be offered free parking, for example.

"One or two car-free Sundays each month won't do anything to tackle the smog crisis," he told Corriere della Sera.

Public transport was to be bolstered during the day, with an extra metro trains and buses operating.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    Good idea for several reasons, not just smog. It will promote development of electric cars; it will spur development of public transit; it will, in short: put pressure on the Govt to react. Measure, first imposed on a trial basis in 2007, is triggered whenever pollution exceeds statutory limit for 12 consecutive days; this seems more than fair, especially for persons who have breathing problems.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    British Gas and the local council are doing thier bit to help. They got together and decided to dig up so many roads so often you no longer want to even attempt to drive around here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Pollution is a major problem, but public transport cannot ever come to my home when I want it, and transport me to my destination wherever that might be. Therefore personal transportation cannot ever go away. Affordable non polluting transport is desirable, but I bet not achievable in out lifetime economically. Cycling / walking is not an option for the majority who are not 18-30.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    All Cities should ban cars e.t.c, and have electric personnel carriers at city limit areas, with large tower blocks for parking vehicles. All commercial vehicles entering the city for deliveries should be electric, with exchanging points for hydrocarbon vehicles.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    You hear so little about promotion of car sharing schemes, including women only schemes. Boris & politicians should be on top of this & even setting up/subsidising such schemes with Congestion charge income.

    There are so many under used VERY expensive & presently ATTROCIOUSLY wasteful park & ride carparks that could be utilised as local drop/off collection points for car sharing schemes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    I think that is a good idea ... but not only Milan but all the biggest cites all over the world shoud have such "no car" days. it will help to improve the neglected state of our environment.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    No doubt, this is a great idea!
    It solve not only the pollution but the traffic jam at the same time.
    The state government should implied this idea in the major city!

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    Actually the government are treating motorists and smokers alike. They rely heavily on the revenues from both. If you want to truly bankrupt the UK you only have to ban smoking or driving. The government are as likely to take a measure that would get people off the roads as they are to make smoking illegal. Before you all hit the -ve button I admit it - I'm a driver.........ok I smoke as well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    A spokesperson for Londons Boris said "

    Since the beginning of 2011, we estimate that more than 75% of air pollution episodes have occurred when pollutants have been blown in from Europe."

    What we need is to build wind turbines all along east coast & send it back, plus a bit of our own as recompense for the costs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    The English are the most me me me me me me me me me people on the planet

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Sounds like a splendid idea so far as it goes. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, haven't I heard that somewhere? Why not go further and shut everything down except cafes? Give nature a lovely day of silence from mechanical noise and give her back clear air.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Such breathtaking obscurity and Kafkaesque moderation happening here today, keep it up you humourless Presbyterian moderators.

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Veaspa are not produced in Milan, old Lambretta was produced, in '60, in Milan. Modern motorcycles are euro 4. Motorcycles euro 0 can't circulate in Lombardy.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    Drivers do not mind polluting/poisoning babys/unborns/children etc as part of their right to get to work & for enjoyment, then some will moan about how terrible smokers are . If car exhaust outlets were inside the cars, I can guarantee that less people would drive, also anti-smokers could also stop being minging numpty muppet hypocrites.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Travel is a necessity, the method clearly optional. Successive governments have preferred to make various methods of getting from A to B a source of revenue hypocritically claiming it to be good for the environment. For years we have had the stick, where is the carrot? When will we be offered a solution that is cheap and effective so we can't refuse. Or perhaps the fuel revenue will always win.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    @Ethan Farber
    1) The polluting cars (euro 0) are pratically banned in lombardy (6 month at year of stop).
    2) euro 0/1/2 diesel cars are so limited than almost all diesel cars in lombardy are euro3 with antiparticulate systems.
    3) every 5 year, for law, you have to check your car. If police found you car without the check then lock it. try.


Page 2 of 5


More Europe stories



  • Witley Court in Worcestershire Abandoned mansions

    What happened to England's lost stately homes?

  • Tray of beer being carried10 Things

    Beer is less likely to slosh than coffee, and other nuggets

  • Spoon and buckwheatSoul food

    The grain that tells you a lot about Russia's state of mind

  • Woman readingWeekendish

    The best reads you need to catch up on

  • Salim Rashid SuriThe Singing Sailor

    The young Omani who became a prewar fusion music hit

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.