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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:20, November 02, 2006
250,000 Motorists pledge to leave cars at home
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More than a quarter million motorists in Beijing have promised to leave their cars at home for at least one day during the China-Africa forum to ease congestion and improve air quality.

They are from 476 organizations including 380 drivers' clubs and 28 private and overseas-funded businesses, said Wang Xiaoming of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

A survey released by the Beijing Social Psychology Institute on Tuesday shows that half of the drivers who promised to leave their cars at home will use buses or subways during the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation, which started yesterday and ends on Sunday.

To ensure smooth traffic for the duration of the forum, Beijing will restrict the use of vehicles belonging to government departments and State-owned enterprises, and shorten school hours, the Beijing Transportation Committee has said.

Half of Beijing's army and central government vehicles and 80 per cent of municipal government department cars will be banned from city roads during the forum a plan considered a rehearsal for traffic arrangements during the 2008 Olympics.

Meanwhile, bus and subway train services will be increased, the committee said.

The capital, with a population of 16 million, has 500,000 company cars and 2 million private vehicles.

The Beijing "No Car Day" campaign, launched in May by more than 100 drivers' clubs, encourages motorists to leave their cars at home at least one day a month to strive for better air quality.

Beijing is trying to hit its target of 238 "blue sky days," or days with fairly good air quality, this year.

For the first 10 months, the capital reported 203 "blue sky days," one more than the same period last year, the local environmental protection bureau said yesterday. In 1998, Beijing had only 100 "blue sky" days.

Source: Xinhua

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