Electronic tolls seen as smog remedy

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 June, 2007, 12:00am

Electronic road pricing would be an effective way to combat roadside pollution in Hong Kong, according to environmentalists and experts.

They spoke at yesterday's RTHK City Forum, following the release on Saturday of the Council for Sustainable Development's report on measures to improve air quality.

The council acknowledged that road pricing would be an 'economic instrument' to tackle air pollution.

Otto Poon Lok-to, former president of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, told City Forum that road pricing would promote the 'polluter pays' principle.

Hung Wing-tat, associate professor of civil and structural engineering at Polytechnic University, said: 'Road pricing is a fair measure, not to punish road users, but to make all road users think more carefully whether they really need to drive into a specific area.'

Democratic Party environmental affairs spokesman Fan Kwok-wai said Guangdong was a source of Hong Kong's air pollution.

Vice-chairman of the Council for Sustainable Development Edgar Cheng Wai-kin said blaming the mainland was only an excuse.

'We stand on the pavement and most of the polluted air is from vehicles running on the streets,' said Mr Cheng.

He also said the government should encourage people to use more public transport.



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