Partial traffic ban in Rome on 28-29 December

Commissioner Tronca decides for partial rather than total stop.

Rome's commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca has now decided that there will be a partial rather than a total ban on traffic on 28-29 December. Cars with odd or even number registration plates will be prevented from to circulating on alternate days.

According to the commissioner's announcement the stop will be from 07.30-12.30 and 16.30-20.30, supposedly the most critical hours for the smog. However Romans have to wait for a further announcement to know which day applies to which vehicles, so adding to the confusion and ill-feeling.

One of the reasons for Tronca's decision in favour of a partial rather than a total ban is thought to be that Rome's public transport is unable to cope with the increase in passengers. Another is protests from retailers who are already suffering from tight security measures because of the Holy Jubilee of Mercy, which started on 8 December.

Rome's edition of the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera has also suggested that the Partito Democratico (PD), party of prime minister Matteo Renzi, is worried that Tronca is being too heavy handed. The PD, still the majority party in the city, is facing important local elections in the spring, after the ousting of its mayor Ignazio Marino in October. On present showing the party looks as though it could lose at the polls.

In Milan there is a total ban on traffic for three days.