How Hong Kong’s cross-harbour tunnels deepen the class divide with toll charges
I refer to the letters from Darson Lew (“Two ways Hong Kong can ease traffic jams in cross-harbour tunnels”, July 2) and Hubert Hiew (“Western Harbour Tunnel must lower its prices or face government takeover”, June 24).
In fact, the Western Harbour Tunnel Company seems to fully support a system that makes “Hong Kong the most expensive city” (June 27), not only for expatriates but for locals as well.
Why else would the company keep increasing the tunnel’s toll every year? It has raised the toll 17 times since 1997, with the excuse that it cannot meet expenses.
The Western tunnel, our third harbour crossing, seems to be little more than a white elephant, with its three lanes almost empty even during rush hour, when there is terrible congestion on the Hung Hom Cross-Harbour Tunnel.
I do not understand why our government is hesitating to double the charges on the other two tunnels (including the Eastern Harbour Tunnel), where tolls have not been revised for years. The Western Tunnel Company would then be very happy, as this would increase its traffic and profits instantly, while relieving congestion in the Cross-Harbour Tunnel.
The third cross-harbour tunnel was built to ease traffic congestion and for public convenience. But all it seems to have done is ensure quick and easy travel for government officials and the rich, leaving the common people to suffer the traffic jams at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, as the Western crossing is too costly for most. But then favouring the rich and ensuring hefty profits for big corporations is common practice in Hong Kong.
A.L. Nanik, Tsim Sha Tsui