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News: Pollution boost for Milan investors

Wed, 16 Jan 08

Milan’s version of London’s congestion tax is proving to be a big hit....

Despite grim predictions of traffic chaos, there were few problems during the morning rush hour, when 20% of the cars and 38.5% of the goods vehicles entering the restricted area were obliged to pay for the privilege.

There was some confusion over which of the city’s 43 entry points were restricted to buses, and the morning traffic started much earlier than usual, as motorists tried to beat the charge’s 7.30 am start. But overall, traffic flowed smoothly, most people having purchased their ‘Ecopass’ in advance.

Edoardo Croci, the city’s traffic Chief commented: ”There was no congestion and no traffic jams at the entry points. Traffic in the city overall was down 31% compared to normal levels, and down around 55% in the Ecopass area”.

Boost for investors?

Milan is the first Italian city to introduce a pollution tax and the handling of the scheme is being watched closely by mayors in other traffic-clogged cities up and down the peninsula.

Anyone driving a polluting car into the central area without paying the tax - up to 10 euros a day according to how ‘dirty’ the car is - will be automatically sent a 70-euro fine.

A tax dedicated to cleaning the air in Milan will be a boost for property investors, as the notoriously polluted city could possibly become a more attractive destination for mini-breakers and house-hunters.

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