Beijing hit by a record 140 traffic jams in an evening | world | Hindustan Times
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Beijing hit by a record 140 traffic jams in an evening

world Updated: Sep 18, 2010 19:02 IST
AFP
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A record 140 traffic jams were observed on Friday evening in the Chinese capital, state media reported, as the number of vehicles on Beijing's streets exceeded 4.5 million.

Friday 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 (60 miles), 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.