In the very city that Vespa was born, the scooter now faces a ban. The Mayor og Genoa, Italy had announced a ban on old Vespa scooters from Genoa city center between 7 am and 7 pm but had to postpone the same to a later date following widespread outrage and protests. In a bid to combat pollution, the ban was announced on certain models of Vespa scooters produced prior to 1999.
News of the ban, which was first set to come into effect from February, went viral leading to a public outcry with riders taking to the streets with slogans – Born in Genoa, Dies in Genoa. The implementation of Vespa ban in Genoa has now been postponed to April 2016.
The ban which was supposed to tackle pollution in the Italian city of Genoa, which attracts millions of tourists from around the globe each year, would have adversely affected over 20,000 riders in the city. Along with the owners of these scooters, citizens of the city too joined the protest as all of them are of the opinion that old Vespa scooters are as much part of the city as the people.
Suspension of the order till April 2016 offers riders time to think of alternative means of transportation while expectations are high that the ban will be totally called off.
Vittorio Vernazzano of Vespa Club Genoa has made special mention of the timing of this ban on Vespa scooters which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. Vespa was produced in 1946 by Genovese entrepreneur, Enrico Piaggio. Despite the issue being postponed, Italo Porcile, an environment assessor states that though he loves the Vespino and used to ride one himself, the Euro O model produced prior to 1999 caused heavy pollution while putting public health at risk.
Vespa at 2016 Auto Expo