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Toll-free roads to take Chinese home this Spring Festival


10:15, November 23, 2012

BEIJING - In two-and-a-half months, Chinese people will celebrate the Spring Festival, China's most important traditional festival for family reunions and a time when most people make homebound trips.

Chinese car-owners may find this year's trip home more pleasant than before, as the government has vowed to continue to implement a toll-free policy for passenger cars and urged local authorities to ensure that trips home are safe, smooth and convenient during week-long holiday.

He Jianzhong, spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, told a press conference here on Thursday that local authorities should build on the experiences drawn from the policy's first implementation during the National Day holiday in October.

This August, China's State Council approved the program to lift road tolls for passenger cars taking highways during major Chinese holidays.

Passenger cars with seven seats or less and motorcycles will get a free pass through toll roads, bridges and tunnels during the Spring Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, Labor Day and National Day holidays, according to the program.

During the eight-day National Day holiday from September 30 to October 7, the toll-free policy attracted more drivers to hit the road and thus, traffic jams were common on freeways around the country.

To tackle these problems, local authorities and transport staff came up many good practices to accelerate passes through toll collection point and make the trips smooth, according to He.

"The effective measures have laid a good foundation for the work of safeguarding the toll-free travels of small passenger cars during major holidays," he said.

He said that the country will continue to implement the toll-free policies during the upcoming Spring Festival, and it will do an even better job to satisfy those taking advantage of the policy.

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