Rome, Milan, Florence, Bologna and other Italian cities are trying to face the high levels of air pollution with car bans
Milan is banning cars, motorcycles and scooters for six hours a day over the next three days. Moreover, authorities in Rome also issued a same ban for Monday and Tuesday. Italian news agency ANSA reported that Northern Italian cities, including Florence and Bologna, also banned cars from the city centres until December 31.
According to ANSA, Rome has tried on several occasions to reduce smog levels by setting an alternate day travel, banning cars with number plates ending in an odd number from travelling on one day and then banning those ending with an even number the next. However, the results were disappointing and the authorities forced to issue the stricter ban.
Weather experts already warned the Italian authorities, that air pollution will not stop until at least the New Year, since weather forecast shows no chance of rain.
According to the Italian news agency, Milan has been over the legal smog limit for 85 days this year, Legambiente environmental watchdog group said earlier in December. According to the NGO, Turin holds the second worst record with 73 days over the limit followed by Naples with 59 and Rome with 49 days. The legal limit is 35 days a year of pollution.
Opposition parties in Italy, are criticizing the Italian government as the 5-Star Movement accused the government of “murdering” some 68,000 “extra” smog victims. Moreover, the Left Ecology and Freedom party (SEL) leader Paolo Cento said that the government must impose stricter measures to deal with the air pollution.
“The smog emergency – which has been going on for weeks not days – is also a health and economic emergency costing 15 billion euros a year,” Cento said and added. “A rain dance is not enough, we need planned measures in the immediate and medium term.”
On Tuesday, the Italian parliament adopted a Green economy law which foresees public investments worth €35 million to combat the air pollution problems in the biggest Italian cities. According to the Local, much of the money will go towards providing free public transport and expanding existing city-bike and carpooling schemes.