Hanoi perseveres in restriction on private vehicles

12-Sep-2018 Intellasia | Hanoi Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Hanoi seeks to limit private vehicles as part of its efforts to reduce troublesome traffic congestion.

Hanoi is still steadfast with the target of controlling the increase and restricting personal means of transport, to reduce traffic congestion and protect the environment.

According to many experts, one of the most effective measures is collecting in-out fees at areas with high risk of traffic congestion and environmental protection charges on private vehicles.

Erecting economic barriers

Traffic jams are becoming a serious problem for Hanoi. In order to reduce traffic congestion and protect the environment from dust and smoke, the city needs to carry out synchronous solutions in all fields.

In parallel with the development of transport infrastructure and public transportation network, it is necessary to have effective solutions to restrict private vehicles, according to experts.

At present, Hanoi has nearly six million vehicles, most of which are private ones. Besides, there are millions of vehicles coming in and out of the city from other localities. This is a real challenge to the capital’s goal of limiting traffic congestion and protecting the environment.

Urban management expert Phan Truong Thanh said that if the city cannot limit the private vehicles, no matter how many roads are built they not enough to meet the traffic demand.

Thanh suggested the best way is to build economic barriers, “hit” into the pocket of the vehicle owners if Hanoi wants to control the increase and limit the circulation of private vehicles. The measures could be raising the parking fees in the inner city, applying charges for areas with high traffic jams and surcharge for environmental protection. By doing so, many major cities in the world have demonstrated the practical effectiveness of economic measures when it comes to restriction on private vehicles, Thanh said.

Sharing the same view, Dr Dang Minh Tan from the University of Transport said loose regulations on private vehicles have encouraged people to buy and use private vehicles.

Tan added that there is a paradox that the more Hanoi’s residents are concerned about traffic congestion, the more they opt for private vehicles, resulting in infrastructure overload. If people use private vehicles to go to work, go to school, go to the crowded and central places in Hanoi, and they must pay a series of expensive fees, they would have to choose between private vehicle or public means of transport.

Shortage of legal corridors

The project of “Strengthening the management of private vehicles to reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution in the city for 2017-2020 period, with vision to 2030″ was issued by the Hanoi People’s Committee in August 2017.

It also identified a number of measures to curb the rise and use of private vehicles such as tolls in areas with high-risk of traffic jam, additional fees of environmental protection, etc.

Under the project, Hanoi will ban motorcycles according to the roadmap from now until 2030, as follows:

In the 2017-2018 period, Hanoi has focused on implementating solutions on management of vehicles participating in traffic and strengthening the state management over transport.

In the 2017-2020 period, Hanoi will concentrate on implementing solutions on quantity and quality management of means of transport, and development of public passenger transport. Besides, the city will apply measures to restrict private vehicles on even and odd days for areas and streets with frequent and serious congestion.

In the 2017-2030 period, Hanoi will step by step limit activities in some areas and periods of time, and prepare the necessary conditions to ban motorbikes in the inner districts by 2030.

However, because there is no appropriate legal corridor and there are no specific regulations, the measures are still on paper.

Recently, the Hanoi People’s Committee has asked the Vietnamese government and the National Assembly for permission to charge additional fees on motor vehicles in some areas that are in danger of high traffic jams in the city.

Phan Truong Thanh said that it is time to take more legal actions to restrict private vehicles in Hanoi as well as other major cities in Vietnam.

In addition, Hanoi only proposed charging fees in areas where there is high risk of traffic jams, not in the whole city. That is a very cautious and reasonable proposal, Thanh assessed.

Many experts also expressed their support for the proposed environmental protection surcharge for vehicles. In fact, the regulation on the collection of “environmental protection charges for emissions” is contained in the Law on Fees and Charges (2005). However, there are no specific guidelines for these fees.

Therefore, relevant ministries and agencies should quickly develop guiding circulars so that they can be implemented soon, in order to reduce the number of private vehicles as well as to have more investment in environmental protection, experts said.



Category: Economy, Vietnam

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