Beijing Municipal government has decided to limit the number of new licence plates to be issued per year to 240,000. This has been done with the aim of reducing traffic congestion in China’s capital. Last year’s monster traffic jam that had lasted for days together raising an alarm all over the world might have been the trigger point for this. Owing to the increasing urbanisation, the number of cars in Beijing has been on the rise and peak hours face acute congestion. As more than 70,000 cars were sold in 2010, the number of cars in Beijing rose to 4.7 million.
The municipal government has decided that out of 240,000 licences, it will issue 88% to private car buyers, 2% to commercial users while 10% will go to companies, government institutions and others. Prospective car owners will be given licence plates based on random picking from lots. Also, the drivers will be able to have only one car in their name. Parking fees too has been raised heavily. The vehicle fleets of municipal government agencies and public institutions will be frozen for the next five years.