A huge traffic jam in north China that stretches for 60 miles will stay gridlocked until the middle of next month, according to officials.

Cars in the bumper-to-bumper traffic have been moving about half a mile a day since the jam started 10 days ago on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou highway in Hebei porvince.

The jam has been caused by roadworks in Beijing that will not finish for another four weeks.

Stranded drivers heading for Beijing passed the time sleeping, walking around, or playing cards and chess. Local villagers were doing brisk business selling instant noodles, boxed lunches and snacks, weaving between the parked trucks on bicycles.

Authorities were trying to speed up traffic by allowing more trucks to enter Beijing, especially at night. They also asked trucking companies to suspend operations and advised drivers to take alternate routes.

Traffic volume on the highway is increasing 40 per cent every year, and the road has been especially busy with lorries since coalfields were discovered in Inner Mongolia.

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