The government has been told to lead the way by relocating away from the CBD in response to the reclamation row The row over reclamation should encourage the government to consider moving its offices and headquarters away from Central to ease traffic jams, planning experts said yesterday. 'Decentralising offices can be one way of easing traffic in Central, and if we talk about decentralisation, a government initiative in this should be most effective,' said vice-president of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners Roger Tang Man-hung. Transport expert Hung Wing-tat agreed: 'If the government moves its headquarters and offices away from Central, it moves its staff away from the central business district and it will have a knock-on effect on businesses closely associated with government activities and will trigger their movement as well.' The government had planned to move its main headquarters and offices to the Tamar site, but those plans were put on hold in May. The major government office buildings already in the vicinity are the Central government offices, the Murray Building on Lower Albert Road and the Queensway government offices. Mr Hung, who teaches at the Polytechnic University, said the government should come up with more creative policies on managing transport if it wants to solve traffic problems. 'I can't see any point why the government needs to remain in Central and occupy the prime sites. I guess it is because of image,' he said. Mr Hung said there were plenty of locations with the potential to house future government offices, such as Kowloon Tong, where the MTR and KCR rail lines converge. The Civil Service Bureau has no information on how many civil servants work in Central and its periphery, but experts estimate the three main government office buildings house more than 100,000 workers. The Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Michael Suen Ming-yeung, yesterday insisted it was essential for the government to go ahead with the Central reclamation as it needs to construct the Central-Wan Chai bypass to solve heavy traffic jams in the central business district. But many planners and environmentalists say that building new roads will only bring in more traffic, and the government should explore other options to solve Central's traffic problems. Some also advocate a decentralised approach to urban planning, so that offices and commercial activities can spread out and reduce the number of people who need to travel to Central. Vice-chairman of the Conservancy Association Betty Ho Siu-fong said: 'Moving offices for the government shouldn't be too difficult, it can locate anywhere so long as it is accessible.' Ms Ho agreed Kowloon Tong could be a potential site for the government to consider. She also said there was plenty of vacant land in West Kowloon. Mr Tang said that so long as the new location was accessible to trains, traffic problems would not be exported there. He also warned that unless the government turned its present headquarters in Lower Albert Road into a park after it moved out, Central would still be stuck with heavy traffic. 'Of course, Tamar is not an ideal location ... if it moves to Tamar, it will create another traffic node there, bringing congestion to Tamar,' Mr Tang said.