Government should buy cross-harbour tunnels

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 November, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 November, 1998, 12:00am

I notice that the SAR administration has recently installed measurement equipment on some public roads, for road pricing trials.

It is my belief that road pricing is not required in Hong Kong, as far more simpler and effective measures can be introduced to speed the flow of traffic, without any cost or inconvenience to motorists.

May I suggest that some of the billions of our dollars the Government has spent on buying shares, be spent on purchasing the Eastern Harbour and Western Harbour tunnel companies, by compulsory purchase if necessary. Thus when the original Cross- Harbour Tunnel Company's lease expires next year and the tunnel reverts to the Government, the people of Hong Kong would own the three cross-harbour tunnels.

Toll fees for all tunnels could be set at $5 (the present $10 fee at the original Cross-Harbour Tunnel was only increased from $5, by the imposition of a government tax to reduce traffic flow) as traffic flow will be fairly equally spread over all tunnels and the Government does not require this additional tax on motorists.

Thus this would help resolve three problems in one go - resolve some of the traffic problems, reduce pollution from queueing vehicles and lower the cost of inflation. It would also give the public some useful assets.

I believe that our traffic problems are minor compared with most major cities and that there are many other improvements that could be made to assist traffic flow and provide a service to the public.

What is sadly lacking in Hong Kong is the willingness of the civil service to provide the solutions and services at fair prices, which the public have the right to demand and are due.

L. G. HENDRY Mid-Levels