The jam occurred at the G4 Jinggang’ao Expressway near the Beijing Toll Gate

Heavy smog in Beijing resulted in a standstill traffic jam, causing the highway to look like a “parking lot”.

The incident occurred on 2 January at the G4  Jinggang’ao Expressway near the Beijing Toll Gate, preventing any traffic from entering the city.

Thousands of cars were seen blocked int front of the city’s tollgate. Chinese newspaper Legal Evening News described the jam as a “parking lot”.

Beijing authorities had just issued an orange alert for smog due to city’s air pollution reaching hazardous levels. Beijing lifted the red alert for air pollution two weeks prior to the event. Traffic is limited to reduce the smog in an alert.

The heavy traffic experienced on 2 January is most likely the result of people returning from New Year’s holiday.

The pictures showing the incident, which have since gone viral on Chinese social media site Weibo, were taken at 3pm on 2 January.

One Weibo user wrote, “What do you do when you need to use the bathroom?” whilst another said, “This looks like a really really big parking lot”.