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Traffic lane system now covers entire Yangtze trunkline

8 January 2014
The last stretch of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River started to adopt the traffic lane system from 1 January, according to the Yangtze Maritime Safety Authorities. As a result, and in accordance with international norms, all vessels are required to sail on the right-hand side. This heralds the beginning of a new era for shipping on the Yangtze as the traffic lane system is applied to the entire 2,828km trunkline for the first time in its history.

Maritime safety officials believe that the system has directly contributed to a reduction in collisions and an improvement in safety since first trials began in 2006 in the lower reaches and on the Three Gorges Reservoir.

To get the final stretch ready for the traffic system, authorities needed to designate and signpost 89 areas for crossing and 44 for mooring. They also published and signposted rules governing shipping routes, speed and lighted buoys and other navigational aids.

By the end of 2009, some 5,700 solar-powered buoys had been installed across the entire navigable length of the Yangtze trunkline, making night sailing possible for the first time in the history of Yangtze shipping.

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