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National Service Network

The great jam of China


02/09/2010

The great jam of ChinaIt should be expected for a city that is currently buying 2,000 cars a day - outstripping the US' hunger for new cars for the first time last year, but the latest traffic jam to snarl its way from Beijing makes for astonishing reading.

The jam started on August 13, due to roadworks necessary to both create more space and to combat the wear and tear that goes hand-in-hand when trucks illegally overload themselves with goods, and Zhang Minghai, director of Zhangjiakou city's Traffic Management Bureau general office believes it won't be over until the roadworks are over - September 11. Meanwhile, National Highway 110, which snakes from Inner Mongolia to China's capital, is moving at a third of a mile per day.

Drivers amuse themselves by playing cards and socialising, while the surrounding villagers are capitalising on the madness by selling noodles and tea to the would-be drivers at inflated prices. Police have been dispatched to deal with the logistics of the situation, while trucks carrying essential goods are being rerouted.

Beijing authorities are fighting a battle to keep the city moving, and it seems that until more rail networks and bus lanes are built, the battle won't just be uphill, but extremely slow-moving, too.

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