Cars without Shanghai license plates will face harsher restrictions if recent measures fail to ease congestion on the city's roads, say traffic authorities.
Starting Wednesday, cars with non-local plates will be barred from expressways between 7am and 10am and between 4pm and 7pm. This new schedule extends an earlier ban by two hours each day — currently those without Shanghai plates are banned from expressways between 7:30am and 9:30pm and from 4:30pm and 6:30pm.
According to Sun Jianping, chief of the Shanghai Transport Commission, the authority will monitor road conditions for three months after the application of the new scheme. If the new limits proved to be of little help, stricter bans will be introduced.
"We have been studying back-up plans, including introducing longer restricted hours on expressways for non-local plate cars, and even banning these vehicles from some city areas apart from the elevated highways," Sun said in a talk with People's Radio Station yesterday morning.
According to the commission, there were about 1 million cars with out-of-town plates in the city by the end of last year, compared to about 2 million cars with local plates.
"Encouraging citizens to make more use of public transportation is the better solution to easing city road congestion," Sun added.