Italy smog: Milan and Rome ban cars as pollution rises

Two of Italy's largest cities, Milan and Rome, are restricting car use as smog levels build up.

Milan is banning cars, motorcycles and scooters for six hours a day over the next three days. In Rome, cars with odd-numbered plates have been banned for nine hours on Monday. On Tuesday, cars with even-numbered plates will be restricted.

Experts say unusually calm and dry weather means that pollution is not being dispersed.
In Rome, cars deemed to be environmentally friendly, such as those with hybrid engines, are exempt from the ban.

Milanese authorities have introduced a special "anti-smog" all-day public transport ticket for €1.50 (£1.05; $1.65).

The ban there will be in force for six hours a day until Wednesday, with drivers facing fines if they do not comply.

Announcing the ban last week, Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia appealed to all the city's municipalities to observe the three-day ban.

"In these days of major emergency, we cannot remain indifferent," he said in a statement (in Italian).