Why rush-hour fees will work

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 January, 2004, 12:00am

I refer to the letter 'Why tolls won't work' (January 15).

J. W. K. Wong will be delighted to know that a pilot programme to test the feasibility of congestion-charging during rush hour was done in 1998 in Hong Kong and shown to be very easy to implement.

And the effectiveness of the car toll system in our tunnels proves that enforcement is easy and well received by the public. Our decision-makers also know that last year congestion-charging reduced the number of cars travelling to London's city centre by 50,000 daily.

We can thank the Transport Department for highlighting how crucial the traffic problem is by the recent appeals it has made to our highest court on behalf of the only other proposed alternative to reduce traffic, the $15-billion Central-Wan Chai bypass.

Public support for congestion-charging is strong.

Our choice is simple. Either we build the bypass and destroy our harbour for short-term relief and an increase in traffic and air pollution, or we implement the permanent solution of congestion-charging. I favour saving the harbour.