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China Considers Charging Fees to Curb Traffic Growth

China is considering charging fees on some of its traffic-congested urban roads, a senior construction official said.

Fees could be charged on the basis of the frequency and intensity of vehicles' road use to reduce people's excessive dependence on cars, said Wang Fengwu, deputy director of Ministry of Construction's urban construction department at a forum held on Thursday in Shanghai.

"We will learn the concept of properly allotting urban road space resource as advocated by international communities," he said.

Wang said the country would change the current vehicle-oriented practice of allotting road space into a traveler-oriented one with more space given to buses, bicycles and pedestrians.

Currently, public transport only handles less than 10 percent of journeys in most Chinese cities.

Wang said a limit which has been imposed or will possibly be in Chinese cities will cover cars owned by both families and government departments, companies and institutions.

(Xinhua News Agency February 29, 2008)

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