Thursday, 15 March 2012

Milan Hit by New Congestion Charge Trial

Milan city centre
If you think that London was the only place where you would be stung by a congestion charge, think again. Milan is now in on the act; from the 16th January 2012, people wishing to drive in Milan city centre (Zone C) have had to pay a congestion charge of €5 per day (Monday – Friday only). Their tickets will be valid from 7.30am to 7.30pm and covers all accesses made on the same day.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has commented on the new traffic law, and advises drivers to check the Comune di Milano website for more information. “In an attempt to reduce levels of pollution in Rome, the City authorities occasionally introduce traffic restrictions,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website states. “This involves only allowing the circulation of traffic on alternative days, linked to the vehicles’ odd or even number plates.”

Milan city centre
Rory Sexton, MD of Economy Car Hire, is unsure of how the new congestion charge will affect Milan’s traffic problem – but hopes that the city centre will be a cleaner, quieter place as a result.

“Although initially this is only a trial for 18 months, many are hoping the traffic will be significantly reduced in the area,” Rory says. “According to the figures released on the first day of the congestion charge’s operation, cars entering the zone fell by 40%. Does this mean that those areas just outside of Milan city centre will be flooded with cars, all vying to park as close as they can? Happily, it seems not - already it appears that people are turning to public transport.

“Petrol prices have been on the rise across Europe recently. Could the introduction of this charge be the final nail in the coffin for the residents of Milan, or will the streets become cleaner and quieter, making for a more relaxed day for everyone?

Milan city centre
“A congestion charge has been in operation in central London since 2003, and was extended further during 2007. Whilst the residents of London are at loggerheads as to whether the charge is beneficial or not, it’s only the start for Milan and its success has yet to proven.”

*Written by Guest Writer Vicky Anscombe, who is an Online PR and Social Media Consultant for Norwich-based SEO and Marketing company. In her spare time, Vicky greatly enjoys being thrifty, salads with halloumi, hunting down old singles that probably don’t exist any more and looking at pictures of cats.
Twitter: @further

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