Beijing: A record 140 traffic jams were
observed last evening in the Chinese capital, state media
reported today, as the number of vehicles on Beijing`s streets
exceeded 4.5 million.
Yesterday night`s record snarls in a city already
notorious for bottlenecks were worsened by rain and the
approach of two national holidays, state-run CCTV reported.
Chinese regularly travel to visit friends and family
ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 22 and National
Day on 1 October.
The previous record for simultaneous traffic jams was
over 90, recorded early this year amid heavy snow, the daily
Beijing News reported.
One driver, named only as Li, told the newspaper he
had taken half an hour to pass through a single set of traffic
lights, which would normally take three minutes.
The number of registered vehicles in Beijing has
exceeded 4.5 million, local media reported -- up from four
million at the end of 2009, with the figure expected to reach
five million by early 2011.
In August, a traffic jam measuring over 100
kilometres, consisting mainly of trucks, was reported to have
been at a standstill for over a week on a highway linking the
capital with Inner Mongolia.
China last year overtook the United States as the
world`s largest car market. It has embarked in recent years on
a huge expansion of its national road system, but the volume
of traffic periodically overwhelms the network.