Romes mayor, Walter Veltroni, expressed satisfaction when he presented the results of the ten Thursdays that vehicles with alternative number plates were banned in the city. The initiative was an attempt to keep air pollution in the city within legal limits.
According to regional regulations the limits must not be exceeded on more than 35 days in a year.The mayor announced that the number of times that the legal limit was exceeded had dropped by 25 per cent in 2006 compared to 2005.
This year the limit was exceeded on 46 days in the Corso Francia, 38 days at Piazza Fermi and 37 days at Largo Preneste. On the days when traffic was limited, the amount of vehicles on the city roads dropped by 15 per cent and public transport speeded up by as much as 40 per cent. Traffic generally moved faster and in one case the buses on the Via Monte Tiburtina went from travelling at an average of 9 km an hour to an average of 35 km an hour. The Environmental League has suggested that the traffic free Thursdays should be continued throughout the year.