A controversial proposal to take Hong Kong's iconic 110-year-old trams off the roads in Central district to reduce traffic congestion has been met with opposition from concern groups and members of the public online. The proposal, made by a retired government town planner, suggests removing trams from some of the city's busiest roads and demolishing tracks and stops to free up more space for other vehicles. The sections of road covered by the proposal include Des Voeux Road Central and Queensway in western Hong Kong Island. Retired town planner Sit Kwok-keung, who now works as a consultant but is representing only himself in this case, submitted the proposal to the Town Planning Board last month. Watch: The ups and downs of Hong Kong's beloved 110-year-old tram He said trams occupied about 30 per cent of the surface of the roads where they operated, and removing them could significantly improve traffic in the district. Sit said now that the MTR's West Island Line had opened, the trams serving the area should be phased out. "We should stop embracing something old and flawed but instead view the issue from a development perspective," he said. But community groups, green activists and land use concern groups yesterday raised opposition to the idea. They have formed the Save the Tram Alliance to call for the board to reject Sit's application. INFOGRAPHIC: Ding! Ding! Hong Kong's historic trams celebrate 110th anniversary Internet users also rejected the idea of scrapping a form of transport beloved by many Hongkongers, arguing that the city should not merely pursue speed. They say the trams, affectionately referred to as "ding ding" for the sound of their bells, have been an important transport option for residents. "The tram has 110 years of history. How can we remove it?" a user named hermanqk said in a message posted on the online forum Discuss.com.hk Another user, elijahli2, said the tram served Happy Valley, a place not covered by the MTR that can see hoards of visitors to its racecourse on racing days. Hong Kong Tramways managing director Emmanuel Vivant said the 30 per cent figure was doubtful as other vehicles shared the tramways. Vivant also said the trams were part of the city's transport system in general, and complimented other means. The Town Planning Board has scheduled a meeting to discuss Sit's proposal on October 23. The government said in a statement yesterday the proposal was "neither a government proposal nor a proposal by a consultancy commissioned by the government" and "there is no change to the role of trams under the policy". In May, the board rejected another proposal by Sit, to turn the Admiralty headquarters of the People's Liberation Army's Hong Kong garrison into a hotel.