Check traffic flow online

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 April, 2006, 12:00am

Commuters wanting to avoid Beijing's notorious traffic congestion can now log on to a website to check road conditions.

The website launched on Thursday by the Beijing municipal government is the first of its kind on the mainland.

Users can zoom in on a map showing near real-time conditions on the fourth ring road, in three degrees of severity.

The map is expected to cover the city's suburbs and highways by the end of this year.

Beijing transport authorities said the information system would help improve traffic flow by encouraging people to make more efficient use of the road network.

Liu Xiaoming , deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communication, described Beijing's transport system as 'fragile', not only because of insufficient infrastructure and facilities but also because 'low-speed roads or auxiliary roads are not used to their full capacity'.

'We believe people will switch to these roads after checking the site,' he said.