Rome traders threaten legal action over anti-smog measures

Traders in Rome claim loss of business over "useless" anti-smog traffic bans.

Rome's association for small and medium businesses has threatened to take legal action against the city's commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca after "yet another" anti-smog traffic ban in the capital on 22 December.

The Rome branch of the Confederazione Nazionale dell’Artigianato (CNA) is considering taking the city to court over loss of trade during a crucial time for businesses in the run-up to Christmas.

The capital's CNA made its announcement ahead of the 22 December ban on even-numbered vehicles from circulating within the city's fascia verde, or green belt, from 07.30 to 12.30 and from 16.30 to 20.30.

The association claims that over the last two-day traffic ban, affecting odd-numbered licence plates on 4 December and even-numbered plates on 5 December, businesses in Rome lost €100,000. There was then second two-day ban on 17-18 December, making this the third in the crucial Christmas trading season.

On 21 December Italian consumer body Codacons described the traffic ban as a "useless measure" that "does not improve air quality, causes inconvenience to citizens", and is characterised by insufficient checks compared to "the ridiculously high number of sanctions against those who break the ban."