Increasing cross-harbour toll will not ease tunnel congestion

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 August, 2010, 12:00am

With the recent toll increases imposed at the Western Harbour Tunnel, more drivers will choose not to use it.

Instead, they will cause even further congestion at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel.

I am concerned it could get so bad that there could be a serious accident.

Some people have suggested increasing the tolls at this tunnel to relieve the congestion.

This will not work, because the toll increases are of little consequence to many users, especially people who work in some of Central's premier commercial buildings.

For such people, the most important factor during their commute to work is convenience.

They would not stop using the Cross-Harbour Tunnel because it became more expensive.

The primary centres of business in Hong Kong are located in Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, which would explain the tunnel congestion problems.

One way to effectively address this problem would be to create business centres in the New Territories, such as in Tin Shui Wai, where congestion is rare.

It has efficient road connections and, with the West Rail Line, would be very accessible for commuters.

The government could lead the way by relocating some of its offices to Tin Shui Wai, such as the Social Welfare Department.

More land should be earmarked for commercial purposes.

It should then be put up for leasing at reasonable prices to attract developers.

By having business centres in Tin Shui Wai, there would be more jobs for local residents and less congestion at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel.

With more jobs available and no commuting problems, Tin Shui Wai residents could enjoy a better quality of life.

Ho Kam-tong, Yuen Long