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China sets highway toll-free dates during Spring Festival


13:15, January 12, 2013

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese drivers rushing home for family reunions during the upcoming Spring Festival will find it a pleasant journey this year as the country's highways will operate toll-free during the holiday.

The Ministry of Transport announced on Friday that the country's highways will be toll-free for passenger cars from 0:00 on Feb. 9 to 24:00 on Feb. 15 when most Chinese will go home for the Spring Festival and return to work.

He Jianzhong, a spokesman for the Ministry, said passenger cars with seven seats or less and motorcycles will get a free pass through toll roads, bridges and tunnels during the Spring Festival holiday.

Drivers will not be asked to stop at toll gates to get electronic tickets this time, according to He.

The electronic tickets, which were required in the first three days during the National Day holiday in 2012, were blamed by many for partly causing traffic conjestions at that time.

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

The upcoming Spring Festival, the most important Chinese traditional festival of family reunions that falls on Feb. 10 this year, will be the second time of toll-free policy implementation after the National Day holiday 2012.

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