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Rome announces new measures to rein in horse and carriage drivers

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Rome announces new measures to rein in horse and carriage drivers
A horse-drawn carriage in Rome. Photo: bloodua/Depositphotos
10:30 CEST+02:00
Rome’s characteristic horse-drawn carriages may soon be absent from its cobbled streets if a new order approved by the country’s Mobility Commission is passed by Rome’s city council.

The regulation would ban the coaches from moving around the city’s streets and restrict their route to historic parks and villas.

It would also limit each journey to 45 minutes and each working day to six hours, a measure designed to protect the health of the horses and prevent them from being overworked.

On the same grounds, drivers would be prohibited from making trips when temperatures are 30 degrees Celcius and above, or at any time between 11am and 6pm from June 1st to September 30th each year – the hottest part of the Italian summer, but also one of its busiest periods for tourism.

The Mobility Commission’s order comes one week after the plans were approved by the City of Rome’s Environmental Commission.

The plans will go before the Capitoline Assembly next week for final approval. 

READ ALSO: It's Rome's birthday: 17 facts about the Eternal City

The capital’s Five Star Movement-led council has been pushing since June of last year to have the new regulations approved.

If they are passed, it will be seen as a victory for Mayor Virginia Raggi, whose administration has been plagued by complaints of inefficacy and allegations of corruption.

Coach drivers have complained that they are being unfairly targeted because the vehicles are disliked by the City’s authorities, who are using concern about the horses’ wellbeing as a cover to get rid of the cabs.

“It’s a regulation against the coaches, not for the animals,” cab driver representative Angelo Sed told reporters in August.

The horse-driven coaches are popular among tourists, who pay an average of €75 per person per hour to be transported around the eternal city.

But they are often seen as a nuisance by other motorists for taking up space on the city’s already overcrowded roads and obstructing traffic.

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