27 Jan '11, 12am

Drivers in Beijing will now have to bid for number plates in a bid to ease gridlock (Let's welcome them to the COE club)

Drivers in Beijing will now have to bid for number plates in a bid to ease gridlock (Let's welcome them to the COE club)

Cars travel on a main road in a traffic jam in Beijing. Potential car buyers tried their luck in Beijing's first lottery for new-car registrations on Wednesday, but most were left empty -handed. -- PHOTO: REUTERS BEIJING - BEIJING yesterday held its first car number plate lottery under new rules aimed at easing chronic gridlock in the city, with 17,600 people given the green light to hit the packed roads. More than 210,000 people applied for the 20,000 number plates available monthly under the measures announced last month, which are also designed to help reduce air pollution, the official Xinhua news agency said. Nearly 90 per cent of the number plates available monthly are allocated for residents. The rest are given to businesses operating in the capital. The lottery - broadcast live on television and the Internet - was supervised by statistics experts and transport offi...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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