Milan Drivers to Face Pace-setting Pollution Fee

Drivers must pay between 2 and 10 euros ($3-$15) during weekday daytime hours to drive in the congested inner city.

Published: 02-Jan-2008

MILAN, Jan 1 - Drivers will have to pay a "pollution charge" to enter Milan's city centre from Wednesday in what the Italian financial capital bills as a trend-setting way to cut smog.

Milan's "EcoPass", launched as a one-year trial, is aimed at the 89,000 vehicles that each day clog the middle of the northern Italian city, where pollution readings often top European Union (EU) limits.

The charge is being billed as the first of its kind among European cities. London, which took the lead in congestion charging in 2003, is preparing a pollution fee on lorries, buses and coaches entering its first "low-emission zone" from Feb. 4.

Other Italian cities are taking steps to control smog stemming from one of the world's highest levels of car ownership. Rome launched measures on Tuesday that include limits on the most-polluting diesel vehicles and Turin is considering a pollution fee for its city centre.

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