Wed, Feb

China Cty Bans Cars Over Holiday, Lauds Results


BEIJING - A Chinese city saved almost $160,000 and its residents had a respite from polluted air during a week-long ban on private cars over the recent National Day holiday, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Fuyang, a city in poor, inland Anhui province, only allowed buses and other forms of public transport to ferry people about in an effort to combat "car wheel corruption," the Beijing News said.

Not only was there a noticeable improvement in the environment, but the city and its residents saved 1.2 million yuan ($159,900) in gasoline and other costs, the report said, without giving details.

"Shutting out private cars can save millions ... and have a positive effect on society," an unnamed local official was quoted as saying.

It did not say if the no-car week of last week would be repeated.

Last month, China held a voluntary "no-car day" in 108 cities in preparation for next year's Beijing Olympic games, although only two very small parts of the capital were included.

Beijing is closing its worst-polluting factories and switching the heating systems of thousands of homes from coal to gas, but air quality remains a huge concern for Olympic organizers.

($1=7.503 Yuan)