Germany's Siemens has won a big contract to tame the traffic in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province and China's fifth largest city.
The deal, worth 82m yuan, will provide 420 road junctions in Wuhan
with a hi-tech traffic control infrastructure complete with CCTV
monitoring, traffic detection, traffic lights and a communication
system linking a main control centre with and 2 sub-centres in Wuhan.
The system aims to coordinate traffic signal timing to increase
traffic flow and reduce delay at road junctions, helping to optimise
journey times and improve the efficiency of the transport network.
Wuhan, like a lot of China's second-tier cities, has seen an explosion
of growth in recent years and its road are gridlocked — more on
Wuhan's traffic and environmental problems in this BBC News story.
According to Siemens, this is its biggest such contract in China for intelligent traffic control systems. But EngagingChina
was more interested to discover that the World Bank is funding this
project. Hi-tech traffic control is not the type of worthy development
project usually associated with the World Bank, whose motto is “a world
free of poverty”.
But the World Bank also helps middle-income countries like China
through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(IBRD) , which financed this particular project in Wuhan.
Nevertheless, EngagingChina is surprised to see that the World Bank
is prepared to pay for a solution to a problem — traffic — that has
nothing to do with poverty but is in fact due solely to China's