Beijing to impose odd-even car ban in heavy pollution

October 17, 2013
Cars travel through a haze of pollution in Beijing on December 5, 2011

Beijing drivers will soon be able to use their vehicles only every other day during heavy pollution, Chinese state media reported Thursday.

China's capital is regularly hit by extended bouts of choking, acrid smog, with heavy industries and car-use both among the key culprits.

Under the scheme cars with odd and even licence plates will be banned from the city's roads on alternate days whenever serious air pollution persists for three consecutive days, Xinhua said.

The plan was approved Wednesday and is set to be released by Beijing city authorities, the official news agency reported.

More than a quarter of Beijing's 20 million people own a car, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper.

Residents have greeted previous odd-even car bans with mixed reactions, with some arguing that the measure should be made permanent and others contending that the city's public transportation infrastructure is insufficient to make up for the increase in ridership brought about by the ban.

The new rules will be an expansion of current restrictions, under which cars are blocked from Beijing's streets for one weekday per week, depending on the final digit of their licence plate, with two numbers banned each day.

A four-colour rating system will be used for Beijing's air quality, with red the worst.

Further details, including fines for those who violate the regulation, were not immediately available.

The plan mirrors a scheme that was rolled out during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and again in 2011.

In an effort to limit the number of vehicles on the road, the city launched a lottery system two years ago for distributing new licence plates.

China's booming economy has driven demand so high that as of March, only one in every 80 applicants had a shot at receiving a registration, the newspaper reported.

Explore further: 1,200 new cars hit Beijing every day: state media

Related Stories

Beijing vehicles exceed four million: state media

December 19, 2009

The number of registered vehicles in Beijing topped four million this week, state media reported, meaning a quarter of the 16 million permanent residents in China's capital have a car.

Beijing vows efforts to fight pollution

January 22, 2013

China's capital Beijing will strengthen measures to combat pollution, state media reported Tuesday, amid public anger over the dangerous air quality in the sprawling metropolis.

Pollution blamed for drop in Beijing tourism

August 3, 2013

The number of tourists visiting China's capital fell by more than 14 percent in the first half of this year compared to 2012, state media reported Saturday, with air pollution blamed for the decline.

Recommended for you

Climate scientist hits out at IPCC projections

October 13, 2015

As a new chairman is appointed to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC) a University of Manchester climate expert has said headline projections from the organisation about future warming are 'wildly over optimistic.'

'Bridge' fuel may escalate atmospheric greenhouse gas

October 13, 2015

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests there has been a decline in measurable atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use in the U.S. for the past seven years, a Cornell scientist says ...

Study sees powerful winds carving away Antarctic snow

October 13, 2015

A new study has found that powerful winds are removing massive amounts of snow from parts of Antarctica, potentially boosting estimates of how much the continent might contribute to sea level. Up to now, scientists had thought ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.