Tianjin becomes latest Chinese city to restrict car ownership

SHANGHAI Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:45am GMT

A general view of centre Tianjin taken from Tianjin World Financial Center, April 15, 2013.REUTERS/China Daily

A general view of centre Tianjin taken from Tianjin World Financial Center, April 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/China Daily

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's northern city of Tianjin will restrict issuance of new car licences, the latest city to clamp down on car ownership in a bid to ease traffic congestion and combat air pollution.

The city government will issue new plates via auction and lottery from Monday, it said in a notice posted on its website on Sunday.

It will also introduce a quota system similar to Beijing's traffic restriction scheme, which allows cars access to the city on certain days depending on the last digit of their plates, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Miao Hongwei, head of the city's traffic management bureau, as saying.

The capital Beijing, infamous for its choking smog, announced last month it will slash the city's new car sales quota by almost 40 percent next year.

Other major cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou have also implemented measures to restrict car ownership.

The Chinese government has announced many plans to fight pollution over the years but the country's manufacturing base and heavy dependency on coal for energy continues to dog efforts to clean up the smog that has enveloped many cities.

(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Kazunori Takada and Jacqueline Wong)

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