The century-old rope-ferry between Lantau and Tai O saw its years of service come to an end yesterday with the opening of a new $15 million pedestrian bridge between the islands. Until yesterday, the ferry was the only means of crossing the 15-metre Tai O creek, and passengers had to pay 50 cents for each trip. Director of Territory Development Lee Shing-see said at the opening ceremony that the bridge represented 'a major step forward in the overall development programme for Tai O'. Mr Lee said the rope-ferry service had already become unable to cope with the traffic demands generated by a rapid growth in tourism and commercial activities. 'The completion of the bridge today will not only improve local traffic, but will bring another rural characteristic to Tai O,' he said. The 56 metre-long bridge has a central span which can be lifted by one person to allow large fishing junks to pass.