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Traffic ban angers drivers

SHANGHAI'S efforts to mark a global car-free day today angered drivers – despite being confined to a two-and-a-half hour traffic ban along a few blocks of Nanjing Road West this morning.

The city marked the day in 2007 with a 12-hour ban on private cars in several CBD areas, but last year banned cars for six hours from fewer streets.

Today's efforts might have been symbolic but transport planners felt a wider ban could cause massive congestion, which is already worsened by more than 6,500 construction projects across the city.

However, traffic backed up along nearby roads such as Changde Road, Beijing Road West and Tongren Road during the car ban.

One traffic officer believed lack of advance information failed to help drivers. "The media made slack efforts to inform people about the car-free campaign this year," said a traffic officer on duty who refused to give his name.

"Most drivers said they hadn't heard of the ban. Traffic was especially affected near both sides of the car-free section," said the officer.


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