HONG KONG should start thinking about driving on the right side of the road as in China, a director of road and power station builders Hopewell Holdings said yesterday. This would mean changing steering wheels on every vehicle from right to left and reorganising Hong Kong's road system. Hopewell Holdings executive director Stewart Elliott told transport professionals from Hong Kong and around the world: ''We should switch from right to left-hand driving and set a date for its implementation.'' But senior government officials immediately cast doubt on the suggestion. Deputy Secretary for Transport John Telford said the road network was designed for right-hand drive vehicles and any change would be very expensive. It was not simply a matter of changing the road markings. ''This is something the Government has considered before, and there have been questions about it in Legco. It is very low on our list of priorities.'' Secretary for Works James Blake said large volumes of traffic were crossing the border safely, and there seemed little need to change the existing system. ''Every day 20,000 vehicles cross the border and switch from left-hand to right-hand drive. That is something that is happening now and happening very successfully.'' Mr Elliott said the idea was a personal opinion, not official Hopewell policy, but still well worth considering. ''I was looking at this because of the safety aspects. There will be increasing numbers of truck drivers coming from China to Hong Kong. This is a very important safety issue.'' Drivers from Hong Kong would want to make use of China's expanding road network, he said. ''One day you will want to take your car from Hong Kong to Beijing, and it is not easy driving on the right with a right-hand drive vehicle.'' Mr Elliott acknowledged it would be a radical change, but he was sure Hong Kong would be able to cope with it. ''I'm not saying this is something we should do overnight, but if we set a date in six years time or 10 years time then everything could start to be planned. ''The transport professionals would have time to get their act together, and incorporate the change in future road projects.'' Mr Elliott said Sweden had gone through a similar change, moving over from British style right-hand drive vehicles to the continental European style left-hand drive. ''The changeover was very successful.''