New bridge will cut time and cost of cross-border transport
I do not agree with correspondents who have criticised the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge project.
I think it offers a better transport alternative than presently exists.
First of all, once the bridge is built, it will offer drivers the option of another highway going through Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai on the mainland.
At present there are long queues of trucks at the Lok Ma Chau border crossing, as they wait for clearance at immigration control. It is especially bad at the start of the weekend, on a Friday. Many drivers are forced to eat and even sometimes to sleep overnight in the cabins of their vehicles.
This is unhealthy and unsafe. There have been cases of theft and robbery while drivers were asleep. It is generally agreed that congestion is a very serious problem.
This shows that there is clearly a need for another road option.
The new bridge can alleviate these serious congestion problems at Lok Ma Chau.
It has been argued that existing hydrofoil services will be preferred over the bridge as they offer a better option, but I do not agree.
Although you have a faster journey by sea, you are not being offered a point-to-point service.
Piers are situated well away from the city centre and passengers have to get other forms of public transport once they alight from the boat. This is time-consuming.
When they get to the ferry terminal before their trip, customers have to buy their hydrofoil tickets.
There are often long queues. If the sailing of their choice is full they may have to wait for an hour or two to make their trip, and this wastes time.
The other option is to book days in advance, but this is inconvenient.
The whole process of travelling by hydrofoil will be more time-consuming than using the bridge once it is open for business.
Drivers and coaches will have direct routes and will reach their destinations with ease.
This will be good for the economies of Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau as it will be easier for businessmen to meet up with each other and transport their goods.
There will be vigorous competition, so transport costs will go down.
I see the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge as an efficient transport alternative.
Also, the construction project will provide thousands of jobs.
Wong Yiu-ka, North Point