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Coach drivers' strike ends in central China

(Xinhua)

09:06, April 20, 2012

WUHAN - Around 100 coach drivers who went on strike Wednesday morning over traffic restrictions resulting from bridge maintenance have resumed work in Central China's city of Jingzhou, local authorities said.

The strike ended after the drivers accepted a new policy that will loosen traffic restrictions to allow short-haul passenger buses to cross the bridge, said officials with Jingzhou Bureau of Transport in Hubei province.

Drivers from three passenger bus companies protested over traffic restrictions placed on Mishi Bridge, an important point of entry for Jingzhou, after local authorities ruled that passenger and cargo vehicles with a carrying capacity greater than 15 tonnes or a width greater than 2.3 meters would not be allowed to cross the bridge for the next two years.

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

Striking drivers claimed that the detour costs each bus an additional 2,000 yuan every day.

The new policy loosened the vehicle width limit from 2.3 meters to 2.5 meters during daytime while the width limit during the night and the weight limit remain the same, officials said.

The traffic restrictions were first imposed after a 15-cm fault was found on the side of the bridge on March 6.

The Jingzhou Bureau of Transport held a meeting Thursday morning to discuss whether to repair the existing Mishi Bridge or build a new one. They also considered how to raise funds.

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