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Proposed fee upsets Guangzhou car owners

A PROPOSED fee on car owners during rush hours has ignited controversy in Guangzhou City, capital of Guangdong Province.

The fee is part of a proposal to relieve traffic congestion in the city's downtown areas and experts have approved the plan, Legal Daily reported today.

The proposal still requires city government approval before it takes effect.

According to the proposal, fees will be slapped on car owners during rush hours to cut vehicle flow. The fees will be first introduced in the Tianhe area on a trial run.

The fees have upset car owners, according to the report.

A driver surnamed Hu who was driving through the Tianhe area yesterday said the fees were groundless.

"We have already paid taxes and fees on the car purchase and should be granted access to all the roads in return," he was quoted as saying.

A woman surnamed Zhang agreed with Hu, telling the newspaper that the government already charges taxes and administrative fees from car owners, thus it should better serve vehicle owners with improved traffic conditions rather than introducing more new fees.

Lawyers also voiced support for car owners.

Guangdong Hebang Law Firm's Yang Aibing described the new fee as inappropriate and unfair.

He blamed gridlock on the government's poor traffic management and planning rather than the large number of vehicles on roads.

He also told the newspaper that cities such as Hong Kong and New York don't levy such fees though they have much more cars.


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