image

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

Four reasons Hong Kong’s mega bridge to Macau is no white elephant but a feat of vision

  • Investment without immediate return is necessary, it is what one calls vision
  • Macau and Hong Kong rely considerably on neighbouring regions for essential goods. Shortening the travel time goes a long way in this regard.
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2019, 8:02am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2019, 8:02am

Chris Stubbs writes that the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is a white elephant, because when he used it he only saw a few private vehicles and a lorry (“Lonely trip on the mega bridge: quiet day or white elephant effect?”, January 4).

With all due respect, I believe that Mr Stubbs is missing the forest for the trees. While I do agree with Mr Stubbs that there is not yet significant private traffic on the bridge, one has to bear in mind that a limited number of licences were distributed. You might recall a similar arrangement was made for the opening of Tai Kwun to ensure crowd control, but it is now open to everyone – and regular attendance is proof of its success. In the case of the bridge, such control is even more important, given the fact that some of the cars are allowed to circulate in another city, when Macau and Hong Kong are already highly congested. We evidently needed a “trial-based” approach and the governments were wise enough to adopt it.

Secondly, Mr Stubbs is ignoring the positive effects of public transport on the bridge, which diverts a lot of traffic from the ferries, which at its peak is unsustainable. I go to Hong Kong on a weekly basis, usually by ferry, and have seen a significant improvement in this regard.

Thirdly, Macau and Hong Kong are not by any measure self-sufficient but rely considerably on neighbouring regions for essential goods. Shortening the travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from four hours to 30 minutes goes a long way in this regard.

Government must act before mega-bridge tourists crowd locals out

Finally, we cannot hope to foster the “Greater Bay Area” concept without proper infrastructure and basic transport to facilitate the flow of people and goods. Investment without immediate return is necessary – it is what one calls vision.

Jose Alvares, Macau