EU Rules are running the show in a lot of ways.
1. EU is encouraging all bigger cities to encourage clean transportation and public transportation and thus many cities in Italy (including Torino as of 2009) now have a Bike Office in their city government. If a country does not follow EU’s rules, (for lack of a better word), then the UE can fine the country; in fact for certain rules if a country fails to fulfil its obligations, the UE can put a judgement on the country; the following link contains examples of judgements on various topics such as endangered species, hazardous waste :
2. Italian cities’ bike share and car share programs are funded through their regione’s environment department. I suspect but have not confirmed this is also due to an EU policy or rule to improve air quality and increase sustainable transportation modes.
3. I already posted about the rules on public transportation companies and competitive bidding and will be updating that as I find out more at:
4. As of September 2009, all new cars in Europe, (not only “Made in Europe” ) must have a rating of Euro 5 – the cleanest rating , i.e. they must be methane, LPG or cleaner diesel, and cleaner gasoline-powered cars. Euro5 cars have strict emission standards for diesel and LPG; methane and gasoline, and stricter standards, Euro -6, kick in in 2014. Social consciousness of clean cars is already apparent: 30% of new cars sold in Italy in the last 6 months have been methane-powered.
The rules are here: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/air_pollution/l28186_en.htm
In short it says : “Member States must refuse the approval, registration, sale and introduction of vehicles that do not comply with these emission limits. An additional delay of one year is allowed for goods transport vehicles and vehicles designed to fulfil specific social needs (category N1, classes II and III, and category N2). Time frame:
- the Euro 5 standard will come into force on 1 September 2009 for the approval of vehicles, and from 1 January 2011 for the registration and sale of new types of cars;
Euro 5 standard
Emissions from diesel vehicles:
- carbon monoxide: 500 mg/km;
- particulates: 5 mg/km (80% reduction of emissions in comparison to the Euro 4 standard);
- nitrogen oxides (NOx): 180 mg/km (20% reduction of emissions in comparison to the Euro 4 standard);
- combined emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides: 230 mg/km.
Emissions from petrol vehicles or those running on natural gas or LPG:
- carbon monoxide: 1 000 mg/km;
- non-methane hydrocarbons: 68 mg/km;
- total hydrocarbons: 100 mg/km;
- nitrogen oxides (NOx): 60 mg/km (25% reduction of emissions in comparison to the Euro 4 standard);
- particulates (solely for lean burn direct-injection petrol vehicles): 5 mg/km (introduction of a limit that did not exist for the Euro 4 standard).
These car ratings can affect other aspects of your life. For example Torino uses them determine whether you can drive your car into the center city. Torino has two levels of ZTL Traffic Limited Zones, sort of like congestion pricing but without the pricing: you cannot buy your way in. From 8 am to 7 pm only cars. motorcycles and scooters rated 2, 3, 4, or 5 can drive into the city, the oldest and dirtiest rated 0 and 1 may not enter. In the inner center city no one except residents can enter between 7 a.m and 10:30 am.. Those are called, respectively the ZTL ZTL “>ZTL “>Ambiente and the ZTL normale. Beginning in 2010 they will combine these two zones into one the bigger zone.
4. Not really an EU issue, but FYI: all the autostrade in Italy are built privately under authorization from the state i.e. country and then the company charges tolls to recoup their costs. Thus there are no “freeways ” in Italy, (I didn’t know that and wouldn’t because I have never been on an autostrade, io prendo il treno.) (There goes one argument for funding bikeways 🙂 but taxes still pay for all the other streets and to subsidize public transit.) Typically, (at least it is true in Torino) on the ring (or tangential) road there is no toll, in order to encourage people to use them instead of driving through town.