Beijing to consider fees for car congestion

Beijing to consider fees for car congestion

BEIJING - Beijing may take the road followed by other international metropolises by imposing a congestion fee for cars in the centre of the city.

Observing the practice of peers such as London, Milan and Tokyo, the Chinese capital may limit car use in the centre of the city, which authorities hope will cut PM2.5 levels.

Car emissions are believed to account for one-third of PM2.5, a major air pollutant, in most congested areas in Beijing.

The congestion charge would be levied mainly on vehicles in the downtown area and will be set out in the near future by the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau and Beijing Commission of Transport.

"Whoever pollutes the air is responsible to clean it up," Fang Li, spokesman for the bureau, said at a news conference on Monday.

The congestion fee is one of the key tasks of a five-year clean air action plan for the Chinese capital, which has been choking in smog, especially during winter heating seasons.

Next year, Beijing will also ban private cars at certain times and areas, the bureau said.

The current restriction bans private cars one workday a week, based on the last digit of the license plate, while the stricter regulation will further reduce vehicles on the road by prohibiting certain vehicles from seriously congested areas, the bureau said.

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