Transport ministry open to talks with Bologna city council.

Italy’s transport ministry on Friday citicised Bologna’s contentious new 30 km/h speed limit as appearing to be “unreasonable because the problems for citizens (particularly for workers) risk outweighing the benefits for road safety”.

The ministry, headed by deputy premier Matteo Salvini, said that it was ready for immediate talks with the local council to seek “alternative solutions”, state broadcaster RAI reports.

The intervention by the ministry, which stressed that road safety remains “a top priority” for Salvini, comes amid fierce criticism of the speed limit from drivers in the north Italian city.

Mayor Matteo Lepore has defended the measure, which is designed to reduce the number of road deaths in Bologna to zero, claiming that it costs the city “more to issue fines than not to issue them”.

The first person to be handed a ticket for breaking the new speed limit was local jeweller Sergio Baldazzi who was caught driving at 39 km/h on Tuesday.

Baldazzi, whose €42 fine was reduced to €29.40 if paid within five days, told La Repubblica newspaper: “Next time I’ll go on foot and push the car.”

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