Increased tolls for one of Hong Kong's harbour tunnels will mean higher taxi surcharges for two of them and further congestion problems. The Transport Advisory Committee last night endorsed a controversial plan to increase surcharges in the Eastern Harbour Crossing, which sees a toll rise in January, and the under-utilised Western Harbour Crossing. But legislators and taxi unions say the move will worsen congestion in the cheaper Cross-Harbour Tunnel as it will attract more drivers. Eastern tunnel management won the $5 toll increase to $15 per car or taxi through arbitration earlier this year. The transport committee said with the increase, taxi drivers should continue to charge double toll to return to the other side of the harbour. This would make the fare surcharge $30. But members also want to increase the surcharge in the western tunnel despite no change in tolls. The toll is $30 per trip but taxi drivers can add only $40 to their fares. Authorities say the $10 difference is sufficient for them to return via the two cheaper tunnels. As the eastern tunnel toll was now going up $5, committee chairman Dr Cheng Hon-kwan said the western crossing surcharge should also increase $5 so drivers did not lose out if they chose the eastern route. Democratic Party transport spokesman Zachary Wong Wai-yin said people would simply choose the cheapest option, the central tunnel, which is already heavily congested. Provisional legislator Law Cheung-kwok agreed, adding the three surcharges would lead to passenger confusion over fares and make tourists more vulnerable to dishonest drivers. They agreed the return toll for empty taxis should be the same at all cross-harbour tunnels. Urban Taxi Drivers' Association Joint Committee spokesman Kwok Chi-piu said the only other solution would be to enforce double tolls on each tunnel. The proposal will be brought before the provisional legislature and Executive Council.