A fifth crossing is seen as part of wider scheme for Pearl River Delta integration Hong Kong will have a new border checkpoint east of the current Man Kam To crossing to help further integration between the special administrative region and the Pearl River Delta. A senior government official said the fifth checkpoint, which is likely to be at Lientang in Shenzhen, is expected to create an eastern corridor linking Hong Kong and the eastern PRD cities of Shantou, Chaozhou and Jieyang. A more comprehensive transport network will then be formed on the east, with the Y-shaped bridge linking Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai on the west of the Pearl River Delta area. The official, who gave no timeframe for the plans, said the new checkpoint was expected to play a crucial role in the increase of cross-border traffic between Hong Kong and the mainland. It also would help Shenzhen divert the heavy traffic its city centre now endures. The Man Kam To checkpoint, which is largely used for freight traffic, is next to the city's commercial district. There are now four checkpoints between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Most people cross the border via Lowu, while the three vehicular boundary crossings at Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To and Shataukok are near saturation. An average of 33,900 vehicles a day crossed the border last year, 31 per cent more than five years ago and an average annual increase of 5 per cent. But the official said the scope for expanding the checkpoints, especially Shataukok, was limited. Hung Wing-tat, a transport and traffic expert at the Polytechnic University's civil and structural engineering department, said it was sensible to have another crossing. He said the new checkpoint would enable people travelling to mainland cities, via Hong Kong, to make use of Shenzhen airport. 'Goods and passengers arriving in Hong Kong will have another route for entering the mainland. In the long run, this can make the Shenzhen airport our domestic airport,' he said. The new checkpoint will be part of the Hong Kong government plan to utilise land around the border area. Also included in the government plans for the border area is an exhibition centre to encourage trade between the mainland and the international business community. Businessmen from overseas would be able to visit the expo centre without the need for a China entry visa, while traders from the mainland would be able to do business there without leaving the country. With the new checkpoint and expo centre at the border area, the government believes satellite towns such as Tai Po, Sheung Shui and Fanling will attract more residents.