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Hanoi to ban all motorcycles by 2030

HANOI: Officials in Vietnam's traffic-choked capital Hanoi vowed yesterday to banish motorcycles by 2030 to ease environmental and congestions woes.

The decision swiftly divided a city where two-wheelers are the main means of transportation.

There are five million motorbikes among a population of about seven million, compared to half a million cars on the road. Critics have blamed the emissions-heavy motorbikes for Hanoi's deteriorating air quality and worsening traffic congestion.

The decision to ban motorbikes by 2030 was approved by 95 out of 96 city councillors at a meeting yesterday.

Officials said the number of vehicles was growing at an "alarming" rate, according to a report on the city government's website.

"Traffic jams and air pollution will become serious in the future if no immediate management measures are in place," the report said.

It added that authorities would increase public transport options to wean people off their bikes. Opinions on the decision were sharply divided on social media.

Construction of a sky train in the city has been repeatedly delayed but is slated to open next year. - AFP

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