Monday, August 04, 2008

Beijing Olympics: a last-ditch smog effort

The Guardian has an article on how Beijing - one of the most polluted cities in the world - tries to tackle its pollution problem by banning half the 3.3m cars that use the city centre:

The roads were unusually clear but skies remained stubbornly smoggy in Beijing today at the start of an attempt to curb smog before the Olympics begin in three weeks.

The final stage of the programme, which began yesterday, saw half the city's 3.3m cars banned from the roads each day, depending on whether their number plates end in an odd or even digit.

City authorities hope the measure, which is enforced by thousands of number plate recognition cameras and the threat of a 100 yuan (£7.30) fine, will reduce vehicle emissions by more than 60%.

Traffic flow was notably better this morning, although an estimated 4 million extra commuters had to squeeze into the city's bus and underground train systems.

Read in full and see the video - 'Beijing Olympics: 1.15m cars banned from roads in last-ditch smog effort'


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