Beginning from late 2008, more and more cities have progressively introduced rules that restrict who can drive which car when, due to worsening traffic conditions nationwide.
CITY OF BEIJING
► Restrictions apply for all of Beijing inside the 5th Ring Road (not including the orbital itself) Mondays to Fridays, from 07:00 through to 20:00.
► Further restrictions apply to cars without a Beijing number plate: these cars must not be used from 07:00–09:00 and 17:00–20:00 inside the 5th Ring Road (but are OK on the orbital itself).
► Government vehicles are under much more stringent regulations.
► PLAN AHEAD: Tougher restrictions may apply on a temporary basis if Beijing has to go through severe periods of smog.
Who can drive when?
Check your number plate’s trailing digit. (If it’s a letter, treat it as the digit zero (0).) Your vehicle will be blocked for at least one day on public roads inside the 5th Ring Road (but not on the ringway itself). This applies for both five and six-digit plates.
Who can be excepted?
Police, fire brigade, ambulance, and works rescue vehicles, buses, intercity coaches, taxis (but not rental cars), minibuses, postal vehicles, are exempt from the restrictions. The same applies to licenced tourist buses, company buses and school buses, as well as law enforcement and accident clearing, city park services, road cleaning vehicles, vehicles from crematoriums, vehicles from the diplomatic community (note: expat cars with a black licence are not exempted), and cars entering China on temporary plates.
Important: If your car (non-Beijing plates) has a Yellow / Orange Environment Protection Label…
You must ensure your car’s exhaust emissions standards are improved. The city’s low emission zone will expand from all of Beijing inside the 6th Ring Road (including the ringway) to the entire municipal jurisdictional area, which is all of Beijing’s 14 districts and 2 countries, with effect from 01 January 2015.
CAR BLOCK SCHEDULES
► 12 October 2014 – 10 January 2015
- Mondays: number plates trailing in 3 and 8
- Tuesdays: number plates trailing in 4 and 9
- Wednesdays: number plates trailing in 5, 0, and letters
- Thursdays: number plates trailing in 1 and 6
- Fridays: number plates trailing in 2 and 7
► 11 January 2015 – 10 April 2015
- Mondays: number plates trailing in 2 and 7
- Tuesdays: number plates trailing in 3 and 8
- Wednesdays: number plates trailing in 4 and 9
- Thursdays: number plates trailing in 5, 0, and letters
- Fridays: number plates trailing in 1 and 6
Important: Number plate restrictions do not apply on national holidays, or on Saturdays or Sundays (even if people are working on these days).
CITY OF SHANGHAI
► Restrictions apply mostly for elevated express roads.
► Where no other restrictions have been mentioned, ”restricted vehicles” mentioned here include all small passengers cars with non-Shanghai plates, as well as all unoccupied taxis, and vehicles driven by drivers in the first twelve months of their Chinese driving licence. Times are always 07:30–09:30 and 16:30–18:00, daily, except for weekends and national holidays.
Restrictions are not active when the time and by-vehicle restrictions do not apply.
The following roads may come under restrictions:—
► Yan’an Elevated Road
- Restrictions apply for the entire Yan’an Elevated Road.
- Restricted vehicles coming via the Bund Tunnel from Hongkou must not use the main Yan’an Elevated Road part.
- Restricted vehicles headed to central Shanghai from Expressways G50 or S20 must use another route other than the Yan’an Elevated Road.
► North-South Elevated Road and Lupu Bridge
- Restrictions apply from the Middle Ring / Gonghe New Road Junction to Luban Bridge, as well as all of Lupu Bridge.
- Northbound restricted vehicles coming from the south must exit the North-South Elevated Road at the Wenshui Road exit, and may not enter the Middle Ring Road.
- Use by restricted vehicles of the entrances at Xinzha Road and Yongxing Road may only use the Tianmu Bridge Traffic Circle to cross over the railway and Suzhou River. Restricted vehicles must not enter the main part of the North-South Elevated Road.
► Inner Ring Road (Elevated)
- Restrictions apply to the entire elevated ringway, except for Yangpu Bridge and the Nanpu Bridge river crossing.
- Vehicles coming from Pudong to Puxi may use the Pudong Avenue entrance or Luoshan Road / Yanggao Road junction to cross the river using Yangpu Bridge via the Inner Ring Road, but must exit the ringway using Linqing Road, Zhoujiazui Road, or Huangxing Road exits.
- Puxi-bound vehicles from Pudong may additionally use the Yanggao South Road or Pudong South Road entrances to cross the river using Nanpu Bridge via the Inner Ring Road, but must exit the ringway using Zhongshan East 1st Road, Zhongshan South 1st Road, or Lujiabang Road exits.
- Vehicles coming from Puxi to Pudong may use the Zhongshan North Road, Huangxing Road, Zhoujiazui Road or Hejian Road entrances to cross the river using Yangpu Bridge via the Inner Ring Road, but must exit the ringway using Pudong Avenue, Yanggao Middle Road, or Jinxiu Road exits.
- Furthermore, Puxi-bound vehicles from Pudong may also use the Zhongshan South Road / Dongjiadu Road junction, Shanghai South Railway Station junction, or Lujiabang Road entrance to cross the river using Nanpu Bridge via the Inner Ring Road, but must exit the ringway using Yanggao South Road or Pudong South Road exits.
► Sun Yat-Sen Elevated Road
- Restrictions apply for southbound vehicles from the north from Changzhong Road exit to the Inner Ring Elevated Road.
- Northbound vehicles from the south may enter the elevated road from the Zhongshan North 2nd Road entrance, but must not enter the Middle Ring Road.
- Southbound vehicles from the north must exit at the Changzhong Road exit.
► Humin (Shanghai – Minhang) Elevated Road
- Restrictions apply for the entire elevated road.
► Middle Ring Road
- Restrictions apply for the entire road.
► Huaxia Elevated Road
- Restrictions apply for the entire elevated road.
Violators will be fined: the penalty is CNY 200.— for non-observance.