Western Harbour Tunnel toll hike adds to list of Hong Kong miseries
We stay in The Waterfront next to the Western Harbour Tunnel, but still prefer the more economical Cross-Harbour Tunnel in Hung Hom. But that means we face heavy congestion, as others like us cannot afford the Western Harbour crossing’s steep charges (“Western Harbour Tunnel in Hong Kong to raise tolls by as much as 8.8 per cent”, May 25).
The toll for cars is now at HK$70, after going up for the 17th time – twice in the last 10 months alone.
This just adds to the list of public grievances in Hong Kong. Our government enjoys great surpluses but cannot decide how to share it with the poor who are victims of hyper-inflation. Our administration repeatedly claims that inflation is only around 2 per cent: it is only higher when the MTR wants to raise fares or our top government officials want a raise.
Our coffers have been overflowing for the last few years but about 25 per cent of the people can’t afford to buy even a tiny home. The reason given for this is land shortage, but there is no ceiling on the sale price of homes.
Also, Hong Kong no longer tops the list in global competitiveness, with declining education, health and environment markers. The latest survey by the International Institute for Management Development says the US has surpassed us.
Our ranking in infrastructure has fallen from 20th to 23rd, and a fourth harbour crossing is not yet in sight, though traffic is increasing by leaps and bounds.
We have to suffer for at least 10 more years – if the Western Harbour Tunnel does not try to reduce expenses or seriously induce motorists to use their tunnel – before our top officials wake up and realise the need for this. The Central-Wan Chai Bypass, to be ready about a year’s time, will hardly solve this problem.
A. L. Nanik, Tsim Sha Tsui