The Rome government has approved new regulations for private tourist coaches in the city. The measures now have to be approved by the city council before they can take effect.
The regulations cap at 300 the number of coaches allowed into the city centre each day. Currently there is no upper limit to the number of private tourist buses that can circulate in the centre and in recent years this has led to traffic congestion and unsightly rows of coaches parked around the city. The cap does not include coaches whose operators take out a monthly, six monthly or yearly subscription, which will not only grant unlimited access to the centre but also free parking in the designated parking bays. Daily permits will be available on line as well as from the usual checkpoints on main roads leading into the city.
The plans also raise the number of parking bays for coaches by 36 to a total of 60; in all, these will have parking for 539 vehicles against the present 249. Other novelties include the introduction of a telepass system by the end of 2010 to monitor short stops and the introduction of incentives for the entry and circulation of non-polluting vehicles. Fines for failing to comply with the regulations will increase from