The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon to be held this Sunday will cause more “significantly congested” traffic in the city’s Yau Tsim Mong district than in previous years due to new race routes, authorities have warned. More roads will be closed in Tsim Sha Tsui and Jordan and all the way north to Mong Kok early on Sunday morning, while traffic jams are anticipated around the Cross-Harbour Tunnel in Hung Hom, particularly on the West Kowloon Highway and Gascoigne Flyover, as the 20th anniversary edition of the city’s biggest mass-participation event for the first time sees runners head down to Mong Kok via Nathan Road. READ MORE: Hong Kong Marathon organisers admit they won’t know which top overseas runners will take part until ‘last minute’ “We suggest citizens opt for underground public transport if they plan to travel to districts close to the routes, given that we expect to see much heavier traffic this year with a couple of new marathon routes coming up,”said Yuen Miu-chun, senior transport officer with the Transport Department. The organising committee is said to have fought for more than a year to get the green light for the new race routes, which are set to add an extra 1,000 runners to bring the total to 74,000 by eliminating a bottleneck on Canton Road. Special traffic arrangements will see a number of roads closed starting from the early hours of Sunday, including the southbound section of the West Kowloon Highway, Argyle Street, the Western Harbour Tunnel, Nathan Road, and Hennessy Road. They will reopen depending on the actual finishing time of the race, according to police and transport officials. As many as 220 bus routes and 40 minibus routes will face adjustments, Yuen said, while eight MTR lines including the Island Line and Tsuen Wan Line will start operating from around 3am on Sunday to accommodate demand. The 10km race will kick off on Sunday on the Island Eastern Corridor, while the marathon and half-marathon will begin in Tsim Sha Tsui and pass through highways and bridges in Kowloon before crossing the harbour and ending at Victoria Park. Police will divert traffic on the eastbound section of the Island Eastern Corridor between 1.30am and 10.30am on Sunday. Similar arrangements will take effect in parts of Kowloon and New Territories South. The marathon has previously come in for some criticism with the race being run mostly on major highways in Kowloon and not through “the streets of Hong Kong”, which would make it more accessible to the public. This year’s marathon and half-marathon will go up Nathan Road from Tsim Sha Tsui to Mong Kok instead of turning off the so-called “Golden Mile” after 100 metres. The change has raised concern among some local residents, given that the first runners will set off in the half-marathon at 6am.