The Beijing government will only register 240,000 vehicles in 2011 – a third of this year’s figure – in an attempt to ease the traffic congestion that is clogging the city, state media reported. According to Zhou Zhengyu, municipal deputy secretary-general, vehicle registration plates starting January 1 will be assigned through a lottery system. "The number of cars in Beijing has grown quickly as urbanization and modernization progresses. This has caused severe congestion in some downtown areas, especially at rush hour," Zhou said. "Decisive measures shall be taken to control traffic in Beijing. Otherwise the congestion will only get worse," he said. The Financial Times separately reported that Beijing’s vice-mayor responsible for traffic management has been reassigned to the northwestern province of Xinjiang after rumors of the government’s vehicle registration plan sparked a car-buying frenzy.