Barges in bridge protest

DOZENS of barges sailed into Victoria Harbour yesterday in a bid to get the Government to abandon its plan to reduce the height limit for the Tsing Yi bridge.

Residents have demanded the height limit be lowered after recent accidents which have seen ships smashing into the structure.

But the owners of the 30-odd barges which sailed in line through the harbour to Tsim Sha Tsui East before returning to Tsing Yi said the height restrictions were unnecessary and would harm their business.

The Government is in the process of gazetting a bill to cut the height limit to 17 metres, but that would force 80 per cent of barges to use another, longer route, the owners complained.

They claim the three recent accidents involving barges hitting the bridge were caused by typhoon conditions or lack of local knowledge.