Traffic jams at the city’s cross-harbour tunnels have long been a nightmare for commuters. The problem is not just the result of unequal tolls among the three tunnels and unchecked vehicle growth over the years, but also the indecision of successive governments over adjusting charges for the available routes. This sorry state of affairs reflects poorly on governance and undermines the city’s economic productivity and quality of life. Thankfully, there seems to light at the end of the tunnel. To help spread out the traffic, the Transport and Logistics Bureau has suggested raising the tolls for private vehicles at the congested Cross-Harbour Tunnel and Eastern Harbour Tunnel – by HK$10 and HK$5, respectively – to HK$30, while lowering to HK$60 the toll for the Western Harbour Tunnel, HK$15 less than the current charge. Taxis would pay HK$25 across all three routes, aligning with the current toll for the Eastern Harbour Tunnel. This means a HK$15 rise for Cross-Harbour Tunnel users, but HK$45 less for the Western Harbour Tunnel. Tunnel toll proposals defended by Hong Kong transport chief Subject to lawmakers’ approval, the changes will come into effect when the government takes over the operation of the Western Harbour Tunnel on August 2 next year and has control over all three routes. But a proposal on rush-hour congestion charges will only be considered after reviewing the effectiveness of the revamped tolls. Sparing light goods and other vehicles from toll increases will ease political resistance. Studies found private vehicles accounted for 60 per cent of the traffic in 2021, up from 50 per cent in 2011. But whether the targeted approach can ease congestion as intended remains to be seen. It is nonetheless a step forward. The idea of rationalising the usage through toll adjustments was first mooted two decades ago. Even though successive governments have toyed with an array of solutions, they were repeatedly stalled amid indecision and lack of political support. Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has positioned himself as result-oriented. The revised tolls, should they be approved, will be a good opportunity for him to prove that he is not just another “all talk and no action” leader.