December 23, 2010 / 10:33 AM / 9 years ago

Beijing city to limit new car quotas in 2011

Vehicles drive on Three Ring Road (left) and Jianwai Street (right) during the evening rush hour in central Beijing, December 23, 2010. Beijing will limit issuance of new car plates to 240,000 annually from January 1, 2011, in an effort to ease the capital city's traffic jams, Xinhua News Agency reported. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing will cap its new small passenger vehicle quotas at 20,000 a month in 2011 as it moves to tackle the city’s chronic traffic gridlock.

The monthly quota will be distributed among fleet buyers and first-time private buyers, according to a statement posted on the municipal government’s website.

Only permanent residents of Beijing as well as those in police and military services are eligible and government agencies will not be allowed to buy new vehicles in the next five years, it added.

China eclipsed the United States as the world’s biggest auto market in 2009, but worsening air quality and traffic have become hazards in major Chinese cities.

By 2012, Beijing alone will have 7 million vehicles on the road, versus 4.8 million now, according to official statistics provided by the municipal transportation authorities.

Shanghai’s municipal government imposes a license fee of roughly 50,000 yuan ($7,524) for each car owned.

Reporting by Fang Yan and Ken Wills; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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