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After Complaints, Hanoi Softens Stance on Motorbike Ban

Rather than imposing a sweeping city-wide ban on motorbikes, Hanoi only wants to curb usage during certain times and in certain areas of the city center, local officials say.

At a meeting with the city's authorities on Monday, constituents raised concerns about the recently approved resolution that aims to ban motorbikes in the city center by 2030, reports Tien Phong.

Nguyen Ngoc Toan, a citizen of Trang Tien Ward, questioned the practicality of the initiative given the city's poor traffic infrastructure. According to him, many citizens can only afford a motorbike as their main means of transport, while public transportation still fails to meet demand. "In this context, a ban on motorbikes will surely affect the less well-off," Toan said in Vietnamese. "This sounds more like a scheme that favors rich car owners."

Constituent Nguyen Van Dung, on the other hand, suggested that the ban should only be implemented in phases. At the same time, he said, the city must also limit the registration of new motorbikes, otherwise: "We will have 10 million motorbikes on the street by 2030."

To address these concerns, the chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, Nguyen Duc Chung, clarified: “The city will not ban but rather limit motorbikes in certain core areas of the downtown districts.” Specifically, according to VietnamNet, the plan will proceed from gradual restrictions in several locations during fixed hours of the day, to a full ban in central districts by 2030.

Chung also added that Hanoi is looking to add 500 more buses to its fleet by 2020 while hastening construction of the metro system.

Limiting the number of motorbikes on the street has been on Hanoi’s to-do list since as early as 2013, but the effort seems to be delayed each time the matter is brought into conversation.

[Photo via Motor 1]

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