Cross-harbour tunnel traffic reduction plans unveiled

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 5:21pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 5:41pm

The government on Friday unveiled three plans to cut congestion at the Hung Hom Cross-Harbour Tunnel, aiming to reduce through traffic by 30 to 40 per cent.

The plans all involve diverting traffic by raising the toll at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and cutting it at the Eastern Harbour Crossing.

Under the first plan, the private car toll in Hung Hom will increase by HK$5 to HK$25, from HK$20, while at the Eastern Harbour Crossing it will be cut by HK$5 to HK$20, from HK$25, in doing so reversing the price difference. This option will include an overhaul of the tolling structure for other vehicle types in Hung Hom, such as increasing the toll for larger and heavier vehicles like trucks and buses.

The second option will include the same price difference reversal between Hung Hom and the Eastern Harbour Crossing for private cars as option one, and, in addition, tolls for other heavier vehicles will be increased but by a smaller margin than in the first option.

The third option will increase the private car toll in Hung Hom by HK$10 to HK$30, and cut the same toll at Eastern Harbour Crossing by HK$5, to HK$20. It will also freeze the tolls of public transport vehicles in the two tunnels.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said raising the toll at the Hung Hom tunnel was the only effective way of easing congestion there, where the government aims to reduce traffic by 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles per day.

“We hope a price adjustment will change drivers’ habits of using particular harbour crossings,” he said.

Cheung said the government had no preference on any of the three options at this stage.

The proposals will now be part of a three-month public consultation starting on Friday.