On the 23rd of December we posted a story on the Road Safety Blog titled Vehicle navigation and car insurance can reduce both travel time and CO2 emissions. This post focused on the need to reduce CO2 emissions – and how vehicle navigation and insurance can help to reduce these CO2 emissions.
I have come across a story on Wheels24 by Cara Anna, Associated Press which reveals the horrific truth about congested traffic in China – and how they are limiting the registration of new vehicles in Beijing. I would like to share some of these details:
The city will only allow 240 000 vehicles to be registered in 2011, said Zhou Zhengyu, vice-secretary general of the Beijing city government. The figure is equal to a little more than one-third of the total number of new cars put on Beijing’s streets of Beijing juring 2010.
Traffic jams in Beijing have worsened recently with the city dithering about how to clear up the smoggy congestion while still allowing the Communist country’s burgeoning middle class the wheels they crave. Increasingly affluent Chinese want cars for status and a sign of independence and they have easily found ways to finesse official restrictions in the past.
How do the public go about to beat the ban?
Zhou told a news conference that the restrictions would start on Christmas Eve with registrations allocated by a licence-plate lottery.
The new limits had been anticipated by the public, who simply responded with a buying frenzy last week. The state’s Xinhua News Agency said 30 000 new vehicles were registered in those few days – more than three times the normal rate.
When Beijing hosted the (northern) Summer Olympics in 2008 it forced vehicles with odd or even registration plates to drive on alternate days. Now all cars are banned from the streets one day a week, based on their licence plate but (when will governments realise that its citizens are usually smarter than it’s members and will always get around the rules?) people simply bought a second car with an odd or even number depending on that of their first.
About 20% of new sales are for a second cars.
Official figures say Beijing now has 4.76-million vehicles. The number was about 2.6-million in 2005.
An average of nearly 2000 new cars hit the road each day in Beijing, a city of 17-million people. Before the latest restrictions were announced that growth current rate, the Beijing Transportation Research Centre estimated that car ownership will reach seven-million by 2015.
China has been pushing automobiles as a growth industry and overtook the US in 2009 as the world’s biggest automobile market as sales figures ballooned by 45% to 13.6-million.