Subsidised ferry service to Sai Kung is definitely a viable proposition

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 January, 2011, 12:00am

I refer to the letter by Ho Kam-tong ('Any company operating ferry to Sai Kung bound to lose money', January 16) in reply to my letter ('Ferry service can ease weekend traffic congestion in Sai Kung', January 2).

I failed to understand what he meant when he said that 'making it difficult for people to get' to Sai Kung would not 'solve its problems'.

The point of a ferry service would be to make it easier for people to get there, not more difficult.

Also, Sai Kung cannot be compared with Central or Tsim Sha Tsui as your correspondent suggests. Overseas tourists to these two districts are something Sai Kung sees very little of. And just how 'the government should create more peaceful spots' is a mystery to me. To make an area 'more peaceful' then should it not be devoid of cars and tourists? And, how can a fisherman's wharf reduce the number of visitors? Surely more tourist attractions would bring in more tourists.

The comments I made were firstly intended to highlight the excessive traffic Sai Kung's roads have to endure at weekends and also to consider what alternatives are available that would help reduce the number of vehicles visiting this area at weekends.

Other than having a rail (MTR) link, what means of mass public transport would ensure safe travel and would get visitors there on time with a guaranteed jam-free return journey? And a ferry service doesn't have to be a profit-making entity either, it could be subsidised by the government. The government has more than HK$1 trillion available.

A ferry service would create plenty of jobs and visitors from the island could be treated to a sea view of the geopark as part of their journey.

The ferry services in Hong Kong, like most of our public transport systems, are extremely efficient and people rely heavily on them, so why is there currently no ferry service to and from Sai Kung? And since when has a public vehicle levy (in an effort to reduce the number of vehicles) been regarded as 'setting an unhealthy precedent'?

Your correspondent is presumably in favour of more cars on Hong Kong's roads.

Andrew Maxwell, Sai Kung