Seoul's cars get the red card during World Cup campaign


South Korea has imposed a ban on cars on alternate days from the 10 cities holding World Cup matches until June 30th.

Several hundred thousand cars stayed off the streets of the congested South Korean capital, Seoul, last Thursday as part of traffic restrictions for the opening match, officials said.

It brought a rare breathing space to the city which has some of the toughest traffic conditions in Asia.

The car restrictions will be imposed in all host cities on the day before and the day of each game.

Cars with an odd number registration will be allowed one day and with an even registration number the next. Those who breach the rule face a 50,000 won (€44) fine.

"Traffic has been significantly reduced on the streets of Seoul with its flow unusally faster," said Lee Jong-Bom of Seoul's police traffic bureau.

He said cars were moving at an average speed of 40-50 km (25-30 miles) an hour, faster than the usual 20-25 kms.

Congestion and air pollution is notorious in Seoul which has some 2.5 million vehicles, 20 per cent of the country's total registered cars. Banned cars will have to stay off the road between 7am and 10pm. ... AFP