More than 1,200 new cars hit the roads of China's capital Beijing every day on average in the first seven months of the year, state media reported Sunday.
The Beijing Traffic Management Bureau reported the registration of 261,000 new vehicles -- 97 percent of which were private cars -- from the beginning of January until the end of July, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The figure, a nine percent increase from the same period last year, came to an average of 1,231 new cars a day.
Beijing's air has for many years been among the most polluted in the world, with the fast-rising number of cars on the road one of the major contributors.
However the government has implemented several policies to try and curb pollution, including traffic control measures, moving factories out of the city, and requiring cars and buses to use cleaner fuels.
According to the report, Beijing had 5.5 million drivers by August 6, out of a total population of 17 million people.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Study says Chinese air quality standards not yet met