October 16, 2008 / 3:27 AM / 9 years ago

Shanghai follows Beijing in putting brakes on traffic

BEIJING (Reuters) - Shanghai is to adopt a watered-down version of the capital’s traffic restrictions in a bit to clean the air, clear the roads and save energy, state media said.

Starting next month, vehicles belonging to the government or state-owned enterprises will be banned from the roads on one out of five weekdays in a system based on license plate numbers.

Different from Beijing’s curbs, Shanghai’s will not apply to private cars even though “Shanghai’s private vehicles are encouraged to follow the restrictions,” Xinhua news agency quoted an official as saying.

Beijing introduced its restrictions after taking half the city’s cars off the roads during the August Olympics, freeing up traffic on its notoriously congested ring roads and clearing the air.

When the new traffic restrictions were introduced in the capital on Monday, up to 800,000 cars were taken off the road but many junctions were still congested at peak hours.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie

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