GP: Access restrictions in Rome - Italy PDF Print E-mail

The MIRACLES access restriction policy is carried out on different levels: the Laboratory Area, which is only allowed to catalysed vehicles, and the city centre LTZs, which have been implemented and new zones have been established (Trastevere and San Lorenzo). Furthermore the Tridente zone has been transformed into a clean pedestrian area.

Objectives/ Innovative aspects


To restrict access to the Laboratory Area by high polluting vehicles, and set up clean zones in this area, integrating experimental mobility policies and new technologies.

The measures

In Rome, the capital city of Italy, political administration and public services are the main industries, which include activities related to transport and tourism. These activities are particularly concentrated in the central area, especially in the historical centre.
The main objective of Rome’s administration is to achieve a "zero emission area” in the historical centre, and to greatly reduce traffic congestion. With the support of MIRACLES, this objective is being achieved through implementation of the largest Access Restriction area in Europe after London, supported by the Automatic Control System (ACS).

Implementation status

The MIRACLES access restriction policy is carried out on 6 levels:
1. an access restriction to the whole Laboratory Area (Rail Ring) for non catalysed vehicles, with the recent extension (January 2004) of the yearly vehicle emission test (the “Bollino Blu”), to include all two-wheel motorcycles and mopeds in addition to cars;
2. the establishment and implementation of the city centre Limited Traffic Zone (LTZ);
3. experimentation and establishment of the Tridente clean zone, located in the inner part of the city centre LTZ;
4. the experimentation of Limited Traffic Zones (LTZ) - ACS system in San Lorenzo
5. the experimentation of LTZ - ACS system in Trastevere.
6. the testing and implementation of a 'Night Central LTZ scheme'.

The Access Control System policy has been in place since 1989, but was reinforced in 2001, when the Access Restriction was enhanced by the installation of electronic gates, with number plate recognition technology. At present, a total of 22 electronic gates are in place in the city centre and the system has been trialed and extended to Trastevere (10 new gates completed in July 2006) and trialed and being implemented in San Lorenzo (7 new gates to be completed in 2006).

Restriction to the Tridente area, in which the preservation of historical heritage is the main objective, was fully implemented after a trial in Christmas 2002. Since January 2003 a very restrictive access policy has been in place: entry is prohibited seven days a week, between 10.00 and 20.00, for private cars, mopeds, motorcycles and motor vehicles (including trucks). To control this area 4 guarded gates, patrolled by local police, have been set up. This part of the city centre has been transformed into a clean pedestrian area.

San Lorenzo and Trastevere have similar problems and peculiarities. They attract many people during evening hours, because of the considerable presence of restaurants, pubs, cinemas, clubs, etc. Thus, the objective is to preserve accessibility to the areas, in order to sustain the considerable, leisure-based economy.

Over the last years different trials on access restriction have been carried out in San Lorenzo. The area was closed to traffic in the evening time and alternative solutions were implemented, for example, supplementary parking and connection of the restricted areas by electric shuttles, such as the electric bus line “Nottambula” n. 141.


In Trastevere it was envisaged that access restriction can be enhanced through integration of the ACS with bollards. This was trialled in Trastevere during summer 2004, with traffic restrictions being operational four days a week, from Wednesdays to Saturdays (21 pm–3 am). Plans have been drafted for extension to the Winter period (November-April), when the traffic restrictions will be operational only on Fridays and Saturdays. The support of the electric bus line “Nottambula” is operating with the lines n. 121 and 122.

The evening congestion and the pressure of non-systematic travel towards the city central areas for leisure is a constant phenomena in the whole city centre of Rome. In 2005, the Municipality decided to adopt the ACS+RP diurnal scheme in a narrow area for the hours 23,00 to 03,00 from Friday to Saturday. The new “Night Central LTZ” is a reduced version of the Central daytime LTZ, as showed in the figure above right.

Expected results

It is planned to implement an ACS+Road Pricing scheme in the central LTZ; the ACS scheme, in fact, showed a good potential for exploitation.

It is planned to extend the restriction to include “two wheeled” vehicles, as present technology doesn’t allow their recognition.

The main effects of the LTZ access restriction policy have been:
* 10% decrease in traffic during the day;
* 20% decrease in traffic during the restriction period;
* 15% decrease in the morning peak hour (8.30 - 9.30);
* PT services in the area are prevailing;
* 10% increase of two wheels (access);
* evening flows higher than in the past.

Results and updates

* Rome Central LTZ results:


Current access permits amount to some 250.000 plates (i.e. about 12% of the total vehicles registered in Rome) belonging to specific categories ruled a Municipal Act, while enforcement is operated daily from 06.30 to18.00 (except Sundays). At the moment limitation is not involving two-wheels vehicles.
To date, the main observed results show a 10% decrease in traffic throughout the day, thanks to a 20% decrease during the restriction period, a 15% decrease in the morning peak hour (8.30-9.30). There is also a 10% increase in two wheelers, and a 6% increase of public transport use.
Mean values of the total traffic flow during restriction period is now 75.000 during working days, coming from 90.000 vehicles before the electronic gates activation. The violations to the zone prosecuted by fines were falling down from an initial 22% of the total access flow to about 7% registered in 2005-6.
Data analysis showed that the measure of traffic limitation in the LTZ historical downtown and the activation of electronic gates has led to a reduction of the traffic flow in the complete day and not only in the restriction hours: the trend in years 2001-2004 has a continuous lessening of the flows in the hour bands not included into the limitation’s measure.
The traffic flows in the central LTZ are around 75.000 vehicles per working day, while in the period outside the limitation the traffic flow is passed from a mean of 62.000 vehicles to about 45.000 with a reduction of 25% in the 4-years period.


* Night Central LTZ results:

The results showed a 60% reduction in vehicle passage (from 10.000 to 4.000), with a slight increase in 2 wheelers, not limited by the policy. Due to the positive results of this measure, the new LTZ has from October 6th, 2005 been a structural measure for all weekend nights in Rome.


* Trastevere ACS update:

The experiment was considered successful, the Municipality extended the ACS scheme also to morning hours, from 6,30 to 10,00 and it gave “green flag” to the implementation of electronic gates”.
Besides, an extension of the Limited Traffic Zone was approved by the Municipality and the system was enlarged with two new gates. The electronic system includes access gates with an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system and integration with a new gates road signalling system. The installation of the electronic gates, the road signalling system and the system server for Trastevere district was completed and from July 28th, 2006 the system is operational. At the same time, ATAC completed and opened a new public parking area with about 220 parking places, close to to the district. ATAC besides put the standing area of the electric bus n. 125, line “nottambula” serving the district just in front of this parking area.

* San Lorenzo update

Like in Trastevere, a successful test was carried out in 2004. After that, the decision to implement the E-ACS was taken to support the already operational closure of the District at week-end nights, presently carried out by Urban Police. In S. Lorenzo district the installation of electronic gates is to be completed in 2006. The LTZ is operating with a summer timetable and a winter one: from 1 April to 31 October (excluding August) cars will not be allowed in from Wednesday to Saturday (20.00-03.00), while from 1 November to 30 March restrictions will operate on Fridays and Saturdays (20.00-03.00). Parking areas are in the nearby Largo Passamonti, Piazzale del Verano and Piazzale Aldo Moro. The shuttle service between the parking areas and the centre of San Lorenzo is operated with electric Bus “Nottambula, line 141.

Download doc on latest updates on Rome's ACS systems



Nussio Fabio
f a b i o . n u s s i o @ a t a c . r o m a . i t


The above project is part of the CIVITAS - MIRACLES initiative.
CIVITAS - MIRACLES is a project that assembles four major European cities: Rome (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Winchester (United Kingdom) and Cork (Ireland). The Miracles project answer the call of the European Commission for increasing the urban transport system's sustainability and efficiency through radical strategies for Clean Urban Transport.

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