Ban private cars from tunnel

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 January, 1999, 12:00am

Why are we in the situation whereby a 27-year-old tunnel is used to capacity, causing regular traffic jams, while two more modern tunnels are not? In fact, the Western Harbour Crossing, with the most modern infrastructure in Hong Kong and a total of six lanes, is virtually idle. The situation is tantamount to a householder who has access to a staircase and elevator and yet still insists on using the ladder to get to his bedroom.

The problem is that there is too much traffic using the Cross Harbour Tunnel.

Therefore may I suggest addressing the problem and in one piece of legislation reduce cross harbour congestion.

Make the Cross Harbour Tunnel a public-vehicle-only tunnel, that is, buses, taxis, emergency vehicles. Those of us in private cars still have the option of using either of the other two tunnels. This has several advantages: Traffic congestion is reduced.

The greatest number of people is moved in the fastest time.

Pollution caused by idling engines is reduced.

The Cross Harbour Tunnel, which has had plenty of time to amortise its costs, will still have guaranteed business.

The other two tunnels have guaranteed business from private vehicles.

Otherwise, why not convert the Western Harbour Crossing into the world's greatest bowling alley and at least have something for tourists to visit Hong Kong in greater numbers.