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Coach drivers on strike in central China

(Xinhua)

09:14, April 19, 2012

WUHAN, April 18 (Xinhua) -- About 100 coach drivers in central China's city of Jingzhou went on strike Wednesday morning to protest traffic restrictions resulting from bridge maintenance.

Most of the drivers operate coaches as part of a passenger line between the cities of Jingzhou and Songzi, both in Hubei province.

Traffic restrictions have been put into place as the result of maintenance work being done on Mishi Bridge, an important point of entry for Jingzhou. The restrictions have created frustrations for the drivers, leading them to go on strike in protest.

Jingzhou highway administrators said a 15-cm fault was found on the side of the bridge on March 6, leading relevant departments to restrict traffic on the bridge, especially for oversized vehicles.

Local authorities ruled that passenger and cargo vehicles with a carrying capacity greater than 15 tonnes or a width greater than 2.3 meters will not be allowed to cross the bridge for the next two years.

The coach drivers claim that their vehicles are not in violation of the regulation, but have still been forbidden from crossing the bridge, forcing them to take long detours to meet their destinations.

The Jingzhou city government held an emergency meeting in the afternoon urging the local traffic department to transport passengers stranded by the strike and allow passenger vehicles to pass on Thursday.

New traffic policies will be implemented, according to the city government, although it did not specify what kinds of policies would be put in place.

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