China looks for solutions to growing traffic problems

Following our recent report on the ten-day traffic jam in Huailai, China, we note that the country has started to attempt tackling the rapidly increasing issue of car traffic and congestion.

With around 2,000 new cars coming onto the roads of Beijing every day, short term measures to try and control the traffic include higher parking fees and an appeal for people to choose jobs near their homes. Longer term, there will be more subways and more buses on the roads to boost public transport in the city of 19 million people and more than 4.5 million vehicles. People will also be encouraged to ride bicycles – or go back to riding bicycles, as the case may be.

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.

Beijing in particular has become notorious for traffic problems, with people being stuck in their cars for hours not an uncommon problem. And despite China 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.

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