Car owners arriving from outside Bologna will no longer have access to the ‘T’-zone, San Francesco/Pratello area, the university area, Via Azzo Gardino and Piazza Medaglie d’Oro.
On 15 May, the City Council will launch an official trial on hybrid engines, which was previously announced in October and then transformed into a municipal council resolution.
Palazzo d’Accursio are in fact sending letters about the provision to all hybrid car owners indicating the limits set out. Not everyone was prepared though especially those who had bought one recently, without being resident in the Municipality of Bologna.
One infuriated citizen wrote to a local paper complaining: “I don’t want to question the fact that facilities for hybrid cars have been limited, it was reasonable to expect it,” writes Veronica da Ozzano, “I want to put attention on the fact that we talk a lot about common sense in the Metropolitan area and then the City Council launches a provision that actually deals in the opposite way with citizens who reside in the metropolitan area than those who live in the city.” Sandra from Pianoro also added frustratingly that, “Recently, I bought a hybrid car because, living outside Bologna and having a daughter who attends the university, we could enter and park in the centre and university area easily and without having to pay for parking. Purchasing this type of car also means not adding to pollution and also to take advantage of no parking fees, but I find myself facing an unnecessary expense. Is this the reward for those who think about the environment? Who should I thank?”
In short, this new rule will anger and disrupt many citizens. It’s true that at present the access to the centre for hybrid vehicles are much higher than those for parking: 6% versus 1%. But what will change? For residents they will still have unlimited access, with free parking in road areas subject to charging (blue stripped zones, including temporary areas). For those arriving from the Emilia-Romagna Region (non-residents and companies) they will have access only in the wider Ztl zone, not in the ‘T’-zone and in the other areas indicated above. Changes in parking include: hybrids arriving from outside will be subject to charging fees. It will be possible to buy a monthly or semi-annual subscription with a 50% discount. This last service is not available for the rest of Italy though.
Opposition parties were heavily critical of the propositions. Marco Lisei from Forza Italia went on the attack saying, “The administration has not been able to manage this situation and now runs for cover from people. Those who bought a hybrid car did so by dipping into both their pockets. This provision was postponed for at least two years.” Manes Bernardini from Insieme Bologna also criticised the timing: “The increase in the number of hybrid vehicles must be tackled, but in the long term. You cannot cancel it so suddenly. You need to provide more certainty to families and businesses.”