Want to drive? Win the lottery first…

Posted: January 30, 2011 in News
Tags: , , , ,

Traffic in Beijing - Crazy.

Beijing, China’s capital, has held its first car number plate lottery under new rules aimed at easing the chronic gridlock in the city, with 17 600 people given the go ahead to hit the packed roads.

Over 210 000 people applied for the 20 000 number plates that are available monthly under the measures announced in December.  This is also designed to help reduce air pollution, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Nearly 90 percent of the number plates available are allocated for residents, the rest are then given to businesses operating in the capital.

The lottery was broadcasted live on television and online, supervised by statistical experts and transport officials to “ensure the openness, fairness and equity” of the process, the report said.  Applicants are able to check the results online or by phone.

According to the new rules, only 240 000 new cars will be registered in Beijing this year, which isn’t very much compared to last year’s record high of 800 000.

At the end of 2010, the number of registered cars in Beijing totaled 4.8 million, with an average of 2000 new cars leaving showrooms on a daily basis throughout the year.

Congestion in Beijing is already so bad that certain parts of the city look more like parking lots than anything else during peak hours.

Traffic can often come to a stand-still during peak hours.

The number plates legislation is not expected to have any major impact on overall sales in the world’s biggest car market, which rose more than 32 percent in 2010 to 18.06-million units.

Sales in Beijing only account for three to four percent of the national total.  – SAPA-AFP

Source: IOL Motoring

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