RTHK 31 DEC 2010
The government says Hong Kong’s ageing vehicle fleet is responsible for the very high levels of roadside air pollution. Days with roadside readings above 100 – which are particularly hazardous to the young, elderly and those with heart and respiratory problems – increased by 35% this year over 2009.
Mok Wai-chuen, an Assistant Director of the Environmental Protection Department, said while levels of respirable suspended particulates and sulphur dioxide had fallen since last year, nitrogen dioxide emissions had increased 6%.
Mr Mok said older franchised buses were a major cause of the problem. But he said many older buses are now being retrofitted with emission limiting devices to upgrade them to more modern, or Euro-4 standard. He also said a pilot scheme would designate pollution blackspots – Central, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok – as low emission zones, in which the use of Euro-4 or better buses would be increased as far as possible in 2011, rising to 100% by 2015.