Solution to tunnel farce

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 October, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 October, 1997, 12:00am

To end the current farce of having two of the three cross-harbour tunnels underused while the third is jammed most of the time, may I suggest the following two solutions: Ban all private transport from using the original Cross Harbour Tunnel; and Increase the toll of the Eastern Harbour Tunnel to $30, in line with that of the new Western Harbour Tunnel.

This simple remedy would, I believe, satisfy most concerned people and organisations.

Bus companies have a fast route already. Taxi drivers would have no complaints and would no longer be able to use the excuse that the tunnel was jammed in order to extort a higher fare from their passengers.

The remedies would also guarantee the Cross Harbour Tunnel Company continued steady revenue from all public transport.

Besides, it has already paid for the tunnel construction. Maintenance costs should also be reduced.

The other two tunnel operators would have guaranteed customers at a toll of $30, which should speed up their time for recovering capital costs, when all three tunnels can proceed to an open market.

The only people to suffer from this solution would be car drivers, who - despite benefiting from faster traffic flow - would find they had to pay more for it.

However, I would surmise that anyone who can afford to buy a car in Hong Kong can also afford the extra $20 and fuel costs.