Hanoi may ban motorbikes ahead of 2030: city chairman

By Vo Hai   May 12, 2019 | 02:30 am PT
Hanoi may ban motorbikes ahead of 2030: city chairman
Motorbikes get stuck in a traffic jam in Hanoi on May 1, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Hanoi might bring forward its proposed ban on motorbikes in its downtown if public transport improves to become good enough.

The capital city had passed a resolution two years ago to restrict and gradually ban motorbikes by 2030.

But Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung said, "If the public transport system becomes better, the city can speed up the ban on motorbikes."

The city plans to expand public transport with 16-24-seat vehicles linking industrial parks and residential areas to reduce the need for private vehicles, he told a meeting with workers on Saturday.

For distances of one or two kilometers (0.6-1.2 miles), people should choose to walk, or bicycle "which will also make it more environment-friendly," he said.

Many cities in China have banned motorbikes and people have switched to trams and bicycles, while in Europe many cities will stop using gasoline cars by 2022, Chung noted.

In those countries people usually walk to metro, bus and tram stations, he added.

On March 10, Department of Transport officials told city leaders that they are considering two options to reduce private vehicles on the roads, one of which is to limit and then gradually prohibit motorbikes in the downtown area by 2030.

The plan would also include a halt to licensing of new motorbikes.

City Party Chief Hoang Trung Hai endorsed the two plans, saying six million cars and motorbikes are registered in the city, another two million have been brought from other provinces and the police and defense have another million.

To put it in context, the capital’s population is 7.7 million.

Two days later, the department rolled out a plan to pilot the motorbike ban on two routes that run parallel in Thanh Xuan District, around seven kilometers (4.3 miles) west of Hanoi center.

However, experts and the public have been unhappy with the idea of banning motorbikes in downtown Hanoi, saying public transport is yet to meet the demands of local residents, and cars too are a cause of traffic jams.

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