More railways are needed to avoid gridlock, an environmental watchdog group warned yesterday. 'Roads are not the way to go about it,' said Peter Wong Hong-chuen, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment. 'If you build more roads, you attract more cars and that is something Hong Kong cannot sustain.' Council members yesterday called on the Government to plan railways as a key way to maintain Hong Kong's position as a financial centre, instead of worrying about the initial profitability of such development. The council hopes this could allow planning to begin earlier and ensure rail transport played a more vital role. Railways currently carry about 30 per cent of people using public transport. 'There will be gridlock unless we have a proper transportation system,' Mr Wong said. 'We need the best, most convenient system in the world. 'Instead of only building a railway that makes a profit from day one, we must make sure the railway is there when it's needed and not only when it becomes profitable.' A total of $110 billion is being spent on the top three projects identified in the Government's 1994 Railway Development - the first phase of West Rail, the Mass Transit Railway Tseung Kwan O extension and the Ma On Shan Railway, followed by the extension of the Kowloon-Canton Railway from Hunghom to Tsim Sha Tsui. The West Rail project is expected to be finished in 2003, the Tseung Kwan O extension in 2002 while the Ma On Shan railway completion date is 2004. The KCR extension to Tsim Sha Tsui is due for completion in 2003. More studies are under way for an East Kowloon Line, the second phase of the West Rail project, and the fourth harbour crossing rail link. Planning officials are also holding discussions with mainland authorities on opening new crossings to meet rising demand for cross-border travel. Projects being considered include the East Rail extension to Lok Ma Chau, and links to the Lingdingyang Bridge and with the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Western Corridor. Meanwhile, with roads continuing to be built, council members are concerned over pollution, environmental damage and gridlock. Ways to limit vehicle use were also discussed, Mr Wong said.