The idea of a bridge linking Hong Kong directly with Zhuhai but missing out Macau should be reconsidered, a cross-border transport study has concluded. A new look at the possibility of building the Lingdingyang Bridge - named after the group of islands it would cross - is suggested in the study by the Hong Kong-China Relations Strategic Development Research Fund. Fund chairman and executive councillor Cheng Yiu-tong said: 'To put it simply, the best part about this bridge in Lingdingyang is that it will make Hong Kong the first destination for [mainland] tourists.' First raised in early 1980, the Lingdingyang proposal was later taken up by the Zhuhai government. Spanning about 30km, the bridge would have linked Tuen Mun and Zhuhai city directly via the Lingdingyang islands. But Beijing objected to the proposal as it was considered unfair to leave out Macau, and the Zhuhai government shelved the project in February 2000. Last year, the chairman of Hopewell Holdings, Sir Gordon Wu Ying-sheung, presented a new bridge proposal to link Lantau with Zhuhai and Macau by separate access. Under Sir Gordon's proposal, tourists and cargo from the mainland could also enter Hong Kong directly. In recent months, senior Hong Kong officials have publicly backed the need for a bridge linking the territory with the western part of the Pearl River delta. Last week Beijing ordered a study on this by the Transport Research Institute of the State Development Planning Commission. Asked how confident he was Beijing would reconsider a project it had previously shelved, Mr Cheng said that Hong Kong's stance was important. 'If Hong Kong thinks it's a better alignment, I think the central government would value the stance of Hong Kong very much,' he said. Dr Chan Yan-chong, an expert in logistics at City University, said the southern route would be better able to benefit the delta because it would make the delta transport loop bigger. 'I think both alignments will benefit Hong Kong . . . but a bigger loop is always better than a smaller loop . . . because more cities could be included.'