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  • Apr 18, 2014
  • Updated: 4:30am
NewsHong Kong

Action soon on plan to cut congestion at Cross-Harbour Tunnel

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 5:04am

Plans for a one-year trial aimed at cutting congestion in the Cross-Harbour Tunnel will be published for public consultation "very soon", a source said.

It is intended to raise tolls in the tunnel, from Hung Hom to Causeway Bay, and reduce the cost of using the Eastern Harbour Crossing, from Quarry Bay to Cha Kwo Ling.

A consultant's report in 2010 said such an arrangement could divert 4,300 of the 120,000 vehicles passing through the government-owned Cross-Harbour Tunnel each day to the eastern crossing, which is used by 69,000 vehicles per day.

The study suggested raising the Cross-Harbour Tunnel toll for private cars from HK$20 to HK$25 and cutting the cost at the eastern tunnel from HK$25 to HK$20. But the source said the government would present "a few plans" for the public to discuss, with the fare adjustment and the types of vehicles targeted yet to be finalised.

If tolls remain the same, it will stay as congested as it is now

The government would review the effectiveness of the measures after a year, he said.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in his policy address he would consult the public on a plan to adjust tunnel tolls in the first half of the year.

He said the government may compensate the owner of the eastern crossing, the New Hong Kong Tunnel Company, for any loss in revenue.

But the source said there were no plans for the trial to include the third harbour tunnel - the privately run Western Harbour Crossing that runs from West Kowloon to Sai Ying Pun - which charges cars a toll of HK$55 per crossing and has far less traffic.

He said the connecting roads would struggle to accommodate more traffic before the Central-Wan Chai bypass opens in 2017.

While some lawmakers are opposed to raising the cost of using the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, the source said this was not an option if traffic was to be reduced.

"If tolls remain the same, it will stay as congested as it is now," he said

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hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
How about one price fits all ? Everybody pays the same price irregardless which tunnel you are using. Goverment will compensate the loss of Western tunnel.
rpasea
The only reason the western tunnel exists is so govt officials and other elites can get to the airport without having to queue up like the rest of us peons. Hence, the high charge and why all the talk now is about the cross harbour and eastern tunnels.
Ben
During the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in 2005 the government asked the operators of the eastern and western tunnels to temporarily reduce their tolls to $20 throughout the conference. As a result there was virtually zero congestion along the harbour front prior to the cross harbour tunnel for the entire week. So resolving the cost differential between tunnels has proven to work in the past. Perhaps the government should have bought the tunnels back as opposed to building the central Wan Chai bi-pass.
rebmonk
The government should buy back the tunnels and make them all free. We already pay tax through annual licence fees and petrol.
The government should encourage goods delivery between 8pm and midnight and strictly enforce parking regulations in all urban areas to reduce the knock-on effect.
onedistrict
Cannot agree with you more.
Why on earth would the government consider charging people more money to travel to the central business district?
Which international finance center in the world creates barriers to entry?
How do such barriers increase the competitiveness of Hong Kong? (As against other financial centers as Singapore, Shanghai & Tokyo)
oxymoron
Singapore has congestion pricing for the whole downtown area, even more costs than tolls...All of Tokyo's expressways are tolled at high rates....Charging people to drive will reduce congestion and pollution. Less cars=safer and healthier you.
HK-Explorer
Finally it looks like the government is going to take action on the cross harbor tunnel after years of discussion. When I see the all the cars lines up at Ho Hum and jostling for position you cannot help to think about all the pollution it is creating without any gain. Only worry is that diverting 4,000 cars daily makes a noticeable change (it is a start anyway). Hopefully after 2017 the government can divert more to the west harbor tunnel which is basically empty. East harbor tunnel only charges $55 because it is not used. High Chance the central Wanchai bypass will increase traffic and allow the rate to be cut substantially. $55 is just insane where other tunnels are $20 --> $25

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