Beijing mulls over congestion charge

About 5.6 million vehicles vie for space on Beijing's roads, leading to massive traffic jams. Vehicle emissions account for 31 per cent of the city's smog.
About 5.6 million vehicles vie for space on Beijing's roads, leading to massive traffic jams. Vehicle emissions account for 31 per cent of the city's smog.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BEIJING • Beijing is considering whether to impose a congestion charge on road users.

"We are looking into the possibility of a congestion fee in certain areas," said Beijing transport commission director Zhou Zhengyu, on Thursday.

Beijing will also further tighten its traffic controls, and study policies that will encourage companies to adopt different working hours, Mr Zhou added.

About 5.6 million vehicles vie for space on Beijing's roads, leading to massive traffic jams. Vehicle emissions account for 31 per cent of the city's smog, according to Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau data.

The Chinese capital has rolled out various policies to address air quality and congestion, such as restricting vehicles from using the roads on one out of five weekdays, based on the last digits on their licence plates.

Singapore and London are among the cities that impose a congestion charge on motorists.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Beijing mulls over congestion charge'. Print Edition | Subscribe