Promise was never kept
SOME 15 to 20 years ago, when I was sitting on the Urban Council and on half-a-dozen advisory committees, I was promised faithfully by the then Chief Secretary, and the Civil Servants in charge of Highways and Transport that something would definitely be done to co-ordinate the digging up of Hong Kong roads.
Well, of course absolutely nothing was done. And we still have, for instance Repulse Bay Road being dug up in various places, not simultaneously, but one after the other, and with automatic traffic lights so badly programmed they cause traffic jams on an already very busy road.
At the moment it is quite usual to be stuck for 10 or 15 minutes on Repulse Bay Road because of the digging which is going on, and the bad phasing of the traffic lights.
Actually, of course, the Highways Department does co-ordinate things, because when it digs up Repulse Bay Road, it invariably also digs up Island Road, so that there is no way of getting out of the jam and the most galling thing is that when you finally get to these building sites nobody is working on them.
In fact, the one in Repulse Bay Road could have been finished a week ago, but obviously the Government does not supervise its contractors and lets them get away with avoidable delays.
Also, equally intelligently at the Eastern Harbour Crossing and the subsequent Kowloon Underpass, some bright spark decided to make these single lane on a Sunday when 70,000 people were trying to get to the Sha Tin Race Course.
The costs of pollution, caused by stationary vehicles, delayed appointments, frayed nerves, etc, is sufficient to pay the salaries of half-a-dozen senior Civil Servants, who might now sit down and keep a promise made so long ago and really co-ordinate things so that a road is only dug up once instead of half-a-dozen times and make sure that contractors are made to put in proper and intelligent traffic controls.
W. M. SULKE Causeway Bay