Border drivers want truck scheme ditched
CROSS-BORDER truck drivers called yesterday for a pilot scheme aimed at easing congestion at checkpoints to be scrapped.
Union chiefs branded the week-long government scheme, which set up three new kiosks to process empty trucks, as 'impractical and troublesome'.
The scheme will end today.
Despite official claims that it would speed traffic flow, 95 per cent of drivers surveyed by the Container Transportation Employees General Union said the scheme was useless or that traffic flow had worsened.
Of about 1,000 drivers questioned, 90 per cent said the plan should be scrapped.
'We have to wait 10 to 30 minutes longer,' union chairman Tse Long said.
Mr Tse said the scheme failed to use the kiosks fully and made it difficult for drivers to change lanes.
'Sometimes, loaded trucks are waiting in a long queue while the lines of kiosks for empty trucks are empty and sometimes vice versa,' he said.
He said bad co-ordination between Hong Kong and Shenzhen Customs authorities had also made matters worse.
Mr Tse urged the Government to speed expansion work at Lok Ma Chau, which will add 10 more kiosks by the end of the year.
The Customs and Excise Department said it would support continuation of the scheme.
'Preliminary reports have shown the scheme to have returned positive results and if there are no sound objections, our department will recommend it should continue,' a spokesman said.