Chinese city orders cars off the road for G20 summit
‘Odd-even’ car plate restrictions to apply as Hangzhou prepares to host leaders of the world’s biggest economies
Trucks and tractors will be banned from the roads of Hangzhou and surrounding areas as the Zhejiang capital hosts the Group of 20 summit next month.
In a notice posted on its website on Sunday, the Zhejiang public security bureau said the restrictions would apply for 10 days from August 28 to September 6.
The limits include forcing half of the city’s cars off the roads from 2am to midnight each day, depending on their number plate. Cars with odd-numbered plates will be restricted to odd-numbered days, and those with even numbers to the remainder.
The odd-even restrictions will apply around the clock to all highways in Huzhou, Jiaxing, Shaoxing and Jinhua, as well as some highways in Ningbo.
All vehicles transporting “firearms and ammunition, civilian explosives, fireworks, highly toxic chemicals, and radioactive substances” will be banned from Zhejiang roads for the 10 days.
Traffic control measures are often imposed in Chinese cities hosting key international events to ease congestion and air pollution. Similar limits were in force during the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing.
Although not as notorious as the national capital, Hangzhou has its own share of bad traffic and air pollution problems.
Last year, the city came in fourth in a ranking of China’s most congested cities, according to a report from mapping platform Gaode.
Hangzhou had some of the country’s the longest traffic jams and, despite being touted as China’s most beautiful city, it had 238 smoggy days in 2013, local media reported. Most of its air pollution came from car emissions, the reports said.
But according to the city’s latest annual environment report, the number of smoggy days has since dropped to just over 120 days last year.