Venice bans gondolas from Grand Canal during rush hour

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Venice bans gondolas from Grand Canal during rush hour
Venice bans gondolas from Grand Canal during rush hour

The mayor of Venice is to ban gondolas from the city's Grand Canal during busy periods following the death of a German tourist earlier this month.

The city is planning to introduce a floating congestion zone to prevent the boats from operating during rush hour, the Daily Mail reports.

Gondoliers are also to be breathalysed to regulate drug and alcohol consumption.

Police say traces of cocaine were found in the bloodstream of the gondolier involved in the crash which killed the tourist.

Mayor Giorgio Orsoni told the BBC: "We have to think of the Grand Canal as a street, a main street like that of all cities, with particular heavy traffic. We need some discipline."

He added that gondolas may only be allowed to operate at certain times of the day after morning rush hour.

The narrow passageways may also be widened.

Matteo Secchi, spokesman for local activists' group Venessia, told the Guardian: "It all comes back to how Venice cannot support the tourists who come here, it is a simple question of space. The difference is that changes get made when people die."

Joachim Vogel, 50, was crushed to death and his three-year-old daughter seriously injured during a gondola ride on the famous Grand Canal.

He was with his wife and three children when the gondola collided with a vaporetto (a water bus).

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