China grapples to reduce cars in congested Beijing

BEIJING Wed Dec 8, 2010 2:43pm IST

A traffic jam is seen on Jianguo Road during rush hour in Beijing, August 4, 2010.  REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

A traffic jam is seen on Jianguo Road during rush hour in Beijing, August 4, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee/Files

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - Having raced to the top ranking as the world's largest car market, China is now scrambling to find the brake pedal as the flow of new cars bring traffic-jam misery to the streets of the capital, Beijing.

China's latest plan to tackle the jams, and get to grips with about 2,000 new cars coming onto the capital's roads ever day, includes higher parking fees and an appeal for people to choose jobs near their homes, media reported on Wednesday.

Longer-term, Beijing -- with a population of about 19 million people and more than 4.5 million vehicles -- will build more subways and put more buses on roads to boost public transport.

"We encourage people to work nearby (their homes) to decrease their outing demand from the very beginning," media reported, citing a newly released Beijing social development plan covering the next five years.

People will also be encouraged to ride bicycles.

China, the world's second-largest economy, overtook the United States last year as the world's biggest car market and now has 199 million motor vehicles, with 20 million being added every year, according to government figures.

But its economic success now means China is faced with the policy equivalent of having one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the break.

Beijing in particular has become notorious for traffic problems. It is not uncommon for people to be stuck in their cars for hours.

In August, hundreds of truck drivers endured a nine-day, 100 km (60 mile) traffic jam caused by construction on a highway leading into Beijing.

Although China is spending billions of dollars on roads and railways, two-thirds of Chinese cities face the same traffic congestion problems as Beijing, the Ministry of Public Security said in October.

(Reporting by Sally Huang and Ken Wills; Editing by Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Baghdad Bombing

Baghdad Bombing

Baghdad restaurant bombs kill 21  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

India to step up travel surveillance to stop any Ebola outbreak  Full Article 

Hong Kong Unrest

Hong Kong Unrest

Hong Kong students put their case to govt, but no breakthrough  Full Article 

Iran Nuclear Talks

Iran Nuclear Talks

Exclusive: Iran offers "compromises" in nuclear talks, West unmoved  Full Article 

American Freed

American Freed

White House confirms U.S. citizen released from North Korea  Full Article 

Npeal Disaster

Npeal Disaster

Death toll in Nepal's worst trekking disaster reaches 43  Full Article 

Canadian Soldier Dies

Canadian Soldier Dies

Canadian soldier dies after being run down by suspected militant  Full Article 

Rebuilding Gaza Strip

Rebuilding Gaza Strip

Palestinians downbeat on promised rebuilding of ruined Gaza Strip  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage