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Mayor of Rome risks driver fury as he closes road to Colosseum – Telegraph.co.uk

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Mayor of Rome risks driver fury as he closes road to Colosseum – Telegraph.co.uk
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Mayor of Rome risks driver fury as he closes road to ColosseumBut the area has long been divided by a wide thoroughfare constructed by Benito Mussolini which cuts straight through the ancient ruins and forms a major road artery in a city that strains to keep its traffic under control.

“This will just create more chaos,” said Cinizia Perugini, who runs a news-stand in the area. “My customers are angry, they don’t know how they will reach me anymore, and I don’t even know how I will get to work.”

The ban will not stop all traffic around the sites. Buses, taxis, bicycles and emergency vehicles will still be allowed, although at reduced speeds, and there has been little detail about other changes to make life easier for pedestrians.

Mr Marino, a liver transplant specialist who worked and studied in the US, has already established a distinctive profile in the Italian capital by riding to appointments on a bicycle and he says he expects opposition to his plans.

Many residents complain that the decision was rushed through just weeks after the June election.

Elvira Micieli, who owns a clothes shop on a road where traffic will be redirected, said she was worried about increased smog and new restrictions on parking which she feared would hit her business.

“The mayor should have spoken to residents and companies in the area first, then organised things such as extra parking space and better public transport,” she said, adding that she had signed a petition opposing the plan.

“He can’t just wake up one day and change everything so drastically, we don’t live in a dictatorship,” she said.

Long-awaited restoration work on the Colosseum meanwhile is expected to begin imminently.


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