Food stalls set up amid huge jam

Drivers getting stuck in huge jams on the Beijing-Tibet Expressway have called for concerts to be staged at the congestion points at weekends just to alleviate the boredom.

Since August 14, roadworks in the capital have left hundreds of lorries heading for Beijing at a standstill, with minor accidents and broken-down cars aggravating the situation and testingbreakdown cover services to the limit.

Locals have started setting up stalls to sell food and drink to drivers, who have taken to playing cards or chess or cards.

Congestion is a major problem in China but the roadworks are expected to be finished by the end of next month.

One driver joked: "Concerts should be held at each congested area every weekend, to alleviate drivers' homesickness."

And local residents have been benefiting from the queue too by setting up temporary stalls selling food and drink to the car owners.

Around 400 police officers have been needed 24 hours a day to manage the situation, which has grown worse since May after a rapid increase of lorries on the road reached a daily peak of about 17,000.

Niu Fengrui, an expert from the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, blamed poor road planning, saying: "If there's no traffic jam in the city, that would be news.

"Our government should pick up the pace of urban infrastructure construction and spend some of its budget."

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