Facing a growing problem with traffic congestion and air pollution, the city of Hanoi, Vietnam, has made the decision to ban all forms of two-wheeled transport from its city centre by 2025. This was reported by Thanh Mien News, which said the announcement was made by city officials during a meeting last Monday.

The measure is necessary to curb the rapid rise in private vehicle ownership and promote wider use of public transport in Hanoi, said city officials. It is learnt that Hanoi intends to develop its public transport infrastructure – including construction of a metro rail system – over the next decade before the ban is implemented, but no information was forthcoming as to why cars were not included in the ban.

“Hanoi needs to double the number of buses, which currently only serve eight to 10% of transport demand,” said Nguyen Phi Thuong, board chairman of Hanoi Transport and Services Corporation, which operates public bus services in the city. Hanoi currently has 1,000 buses plying its streets, with 27 million passenger rides a month.

According to official statistics released in 2015, Hanoi has 5.5 million registered vehicles, with 4.9 million motorcycles and scooters making up that number, for a city population of 7.7 million. Around 8,000 to 20,000 new motorcycles are registered in Hanoi every month, along with between 6,000 to 8,000 cars.