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January, 2013:

Better air quality = longer lifespan

Health News

Better air quality = longer lifespan

Published: Jan. 27, 2013 at 2:36 PM

BOSTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) — Reductions in fine particulate matter in air pollution improved life expectancy in 545 U.S. counties from 2000 to 2007, researchers found.

Lead author Andrew Correia, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues said it is the largest study to date to find beneficial effects to public health of continuing to reduce air pollution levels in the United States.

“Despite the fact that the U.S. population as a whole is exposed to much lower levels of air pollution than 30 years ago — because of great strides made to reduce people’s exposure — it appears that further reductions in air pollution levels would continue to benefit public health,” Correia said in a statement.

The study looked at the effects of fine particulate matter, small particles of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. Air pollution has been declining steadily in the U.S. since 1980, but the rate has slowed in the years since 2000. The researchers found smaller decreases in small particle levels since 2000 still improved life expectancy.

After controlling for socioeconomic status, smoking prevalence and demographic characteristics, the study, published in the journal Epidemiology, found a decrease of 10 micrograms per cubic meter in the concentration of small particles of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter from 2000 to 2007 was associated with an average increase in life expectancy of 0.35 years in 545 U.S. counties.

“The study provides strong and compelling evidence that continuing to reduce ambient levels of of small particles prolongs life,” said senior author Francesca Dominici, a professor of biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health.

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Air filters and face masks offer little protection to big city air pollution

Submitted by admin on Jan 27th 2013, 12:00am



Martin Williams

From costly air filters to cheap face masks, unless big cities tackle air pollution seriously the only sure protection is to move, says an expert

As I write, it’s a warm, sunny afternoon without a cloud in the sky. This looks like a lovely day. Yet checking the Hedley Environmental Index website, I find that air pollution levels are “very dangerous”, and from midnight to 1pm today there may have been four preventable deaths and 11,505 doctor visits attributable to breathing Hong Kong’s filthy air.

For the money minded, there’s also a counter indicating economic costs, which by the time of writing are more than HK$57 million and rising fast.


But even our filthy air seems almost pristine compared to the astonishingly dense smog afflicting Chinese cities including Beijing, where on January 12 the US embassy recorded 886 microgrammes of small particulates per square metre: that’s 35 times higher than the World Health Organisation’s short term (daily) air quality guideline, which should not be exceeded on more than three days in a year.

While Hong Kong’s former chief executive Donald Tsang seemed little concerned regarding air pollution, describing it as “a question of visibility”, his successor CY Leung has acknowledged that air pollution impacts public health. Indeed, research suggests that in Hong Kong, it results in more than 3,000 deaths and seven million doctor visits per year. Each kilometre reduction in visibility is associated with an increase in daily deaths from pollution; by Friday this week, visibility reported by Hong Kong Observatory was under 16 kilometres – well below the maximum of over 50 kilometres.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? One apparently promising countermeasure is using an air purifier. These have surged in popularity on the mainland, with sales through the Gome website recently up by 700 per cent compared with previous years. Even China’s leaders are using air purifiers, revealing a far less nonchalant attitude to air pollution than did Donald Tsang.

In autumn 2011, a manufacturer boasted of selling more than 200 of their US$2,000-per-unit air purifiers to the Zhongnanhai leadership compound.

Home air purifiers include devices that use electrical charges that cause particles to attach to surfaces or one another. But these can also create ozone, which is itself harmful to health. Some purifiers remove gases from the air, and may target relatively few chemicals. Others chiefly filter out particulates, the best being high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, and these may be the preferred option for trying to reduce air pollution at home.

Yet though filters can indeed reduce particulate levels, there is little to provide confidence that they really safeguard health. “I would be wary about implying you can get a benefit from any kind of filter in the home,” says Anthony Hedley, Honorary Professor of the School of Public Health, the University of Hong Kong – who is a long-term advocate of better air quality and key developer of the index bearing his name.

Hedley would not argue against any measure which might improve indoor air quality, especially for people who have symptoms such as asthma. But in intensely polluted environments like Hong Kong excluding or controlling particles and gases from homes sufficiently to protect health is difficult.

“Filters can definitely reduce pollutants in a confined space but we need to go out to work and school and other activities of daily living,” he says. “In such a situation I don’t know of any good empirical evidence that there are long-term benefits from using filters, such as for asthma and bronchitis.” Hedley also remarks that it is out of the question that seven million Hongkongers can benefit from filtered air at home, as purifiers are costly.

In addition there is a question of how much difference a reduction in pollutant levels at home can make because “pollutants have most of their effects at relatively low levels compared with our usual daily exposures” Hedley says. “Even for intra-uterine growth in pregnant mothers, there are very clear effects of nitrogen dioxide or PM2.5 [small particulates] at levels way below WHO guidelines. The idea that filtering would make a difference to our overall exposures and risk in Hong Kong is probably pie in the sky.”

Even if filters are used by people who are more susceptible to air pollution, and who can afford it, Hedley notes this would exclude the most deprived and vulnerable people in society, who are more likely to live in older buildings where doors or windows are often open. And, with electricity consumption requiring fossil fuel burning, he wonders about the net benefit to economic health and quality of life.

There have been some studies on use of air filters for combating air pollution. In Canada, portable air cleaners reduced particulates in homes using wood stoves, and there were improvements to residents’ blood vessels, suggesting the filters might decrease the risk of health effects from the wood smoke. A Danish study found that HEPA filtration removed more than half of the ultrafine, fine, and coarse particles in homes of elderly people living near highways.

These results appear promising, but more research is needed to overcome the misgivings of experts such as Hedley.

Face masks are also used to combat air pollution, though Hedley considers the cheap paper masks a “waste of time”. In the 1990s his research team equipped Hong Kong police with neoprene masks with carbon filters. There were some improvements in health indicators, but Hedley recalls “the masks were uncomfortable and hot and the police didn’t like them – they looked like Darth Vader.”

Another way of reducing air pollution effects is to move from the worst hit areas. Some people – including Hedley himself – depart Hong Kong to avoid the pollution. Yet simply avoiding being too near busy roads might help a little, as some studies have shown traffic pollutant levels are significantly lower at distances of over 150 metres away. Then, Hedley says air is usually a little better the higher you are in a building. Even so, “in this filthy, high-pollution environment, it’s a challenge to protect yourself,” says Hedley. “The only way of minimising health impacts is to improve Hong Kong’s air quality.”

With this grim prognosis, and the fact cleaning our air would be a monumental task, it may be wise to turn to other kinds of indoor air cleaners: houseplants.

You can find these billed as “living air purifiers”, though sadly, benefits may be trivial. But at least they can look good, and with research suggesting greenery boosts health and well-being, having more houseplants around might make you just a little less stressed from wondering if you might become a Hedley Index statistic.



Air Pollution

Air filters

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Beijing air pollution

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European Environment Commissioner calls for incineration limits
European Environment Commissioner calls for incineration limits

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Jan 252013

European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik has stated that he would welcome medium-term bans on the incineration of re-usable, recyclable and compostable material across all EU member states.

Janez Potočnik is reported to have told Materials Recycling Week (MRW) that: “Most of them [EU member states with less than 5% landfill] got there by using fiscal policy to gradually raise the cost of landfilling; some of them went so far as to ban landfills, and some are now considering bans on the incineration of certain types of waste…I would welcome such bans in the medium term in all member states, particularly for reusable, recyclable/compostable waste streams. It certainly won’t happen overnight, but there should be no doubt about the direction we need to take.”

Milestones of the European Commission’s September 2011 Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe include: “By 2020 EHS [Environmentally Harmful Subsidies] will be phased out….”; ”By 2020 a major shift from taxation of labour towards environmental taxation…”; and that “By 2020, waste is managed as a resource. Waste generated per capita is in absolute decline. Recycling and re-use of waste are economically attractive options for public and private actors due to widespread separate collection and the development of functional markets for secondary raw materials. More materials, including materials having a significant impact on the environment and critical raw materials, are recycled. Waste legislation is fully implemented… Energy recovery is limited to non recyclable materials, landfilling is virtually eliminated and high quality recycling is ensured.”

This was followed up in May 2012 with the European Parliament resolution of 24 May 2012 on a Resource-efficient Europe, including Action 33 which: “Calls on the Commission to streamline the waste acquis, taking into account the waste hierarchy and the need to bring residual waste close to zero; calls on the Commission, therefore, to make proposals by 2014 with a view to gradually introducing a general ban on waste landfill at European level and for the phasing-out, by the end of this decade, of incineration of recyclable and compostable waste; this should be accompanied by appropriate transition measures including the further development of common standards based on life-cycle thinking; calls on the Commission to revise the 2020 recycling targets of the Waste Framework Directive; is of the opinion that a landfill tax – as has already been introduced by some Member States – could also help achieve the above ends.”

Achieving the milestones would mean that by 2020 there would be less waste arisings, far less residual waste, and that incineration would be limited to non-recyclable non-compostable material. It also points towards increased recycling targets, an end to incinerator subsidies (as they are environmentally harmful) and the introduction of incineration taxes (as part of a move towards an increase in environmental taxes).

According to the European Commission’s 5 December 2012 European Resource Efficiency Platform Recommendations for short-term priorities, under the theme of “Specific incentives for reducing waste (targets, pricing, fiscal, eliminating residual waste)” it was stated that: “It should be investigated whether it would be useful to extend landfill and incineration taxes or bans (especially of recyclable and bio-degradable waste)”. According to the document, “the identification – through Member States’ reporting – and phasing out of environmentally harmful subsidies were seen as a clear priority;”.

Indeed, “Abolishing environmentally harmful subsidies and tax-breaks that waste public money on obsolete practices” is part of the 17 December 2012 Manifesto for a Resource-efficient Europe adopted by Janez Potočnik and other members of the European Resource Efficiency Platform.

The 22 November 2012 ‘First recommendations to Sherpas’ from Working Group III of the European Resource Efficiency Platform included discussions of the prospect for “Member States to introduce waste charging, taxes on landfilling and incineration of waste, and encourage recycling and re-use, ensuring that all major groups of users contribute adequately” and a “CO2 tax on non-ETS sectors” (which would presumably include the incineration of plastics as that involves the release of fossil CO2 but is not part of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme).

Meanwhile, the First Report of Working Group I stated that the Working Group showed support for: “The introduction of landfill and incineration taxes or bans (especially of recyclable and bio-degradable waste) that are properly enforced”. The report also notes that the view was expressed that: “EU subsidies should be linked to resource efficiency criteria, without creating a new level of conditionality that could hamper access for the poorest regions. In particular, no more incinerators should be built with EU funding, especially cohesion funds.”

Appendix 6 of the November 2012 Impact Assessment to The Commission proposal for a new general Union Environment Action Programme to 2020: identifies incineration subsidies as a barrier to the implementation of the waste hierarchy: “Concerning the application of market-based instruments aiming at creating the economic conditions to support the waste hierarchy, the main challenges are related to: …In some MS [member states], presence of harmful subsidies (e.g. to support incineration);…”

As UKWIN reported in September 2012, Janez Potočnik has also stated that: “…There are two major objectives we need to pursue. Obviously, landfill rates must go down as quickly as possible, but it is also important to switch from energy recovery to increased recycling. Plastic recycling rates are far too low across Europe with an average of just 24 per cent. Today, even in countries with high recovery rates, there is simply not enough plastic available for recycling because most of it goes to energy recovery. A dominance of energy recovery over recycling is not acceptable in the medium-term

Exclusive: Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science

The Independent

A secretive funding organisation in the United States that guarantees anonymity for its billionaire donors has emerged as a major operator in the climate “counter movement” to undermine the science of global warming, The Independent has learnt.

The Donors Trust, along with its sister group Donors Capital Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is funnelling millions of dollars into the effort to cast doubt on climate change without revealing the identities of its wealthy backers or that they have links to the fossil fuel industry.

However, an audit trail reveals that Donors is being indirectly supported by the American billionaire Charles Koch who, with his brother David, jointly owns a majority stake in Koch Industries, a large oil, gas and chemicals conglomerate based in Kansas.

Millions of dollars has been paid to Donors through a third-party organisation, called the Knowledge and Progress Fund, with is operated by the Koch family but does not advertise its Koch connections.

Some commentators believe that such convoluted arrangements are becoming increasingly common to shield the identity and backgrounds of the wealthy supporters of climate scepticism – some of whom have vested interests in the fossil-fuel industry.

The Knowledge and Progress Fund, whose directors include Charles Koch and his wife Liz, gave $1.25m to Donors in 2007, a further $1.25m in 2008 and $2m in 2010. It does not appear to have given money to any other group and there is no mention of the fund on the websites of Koch Industries or the Charles Koch Foundation.

The Donors Trust is a “donor advised fund”, meaning that it has special status under the US tax system. People who give money receive generous tax relief and can retain greater anonymity than if they had used their own charitable foundations because, technically, they do not control how Donors spends the cash.

Anonymous private funding of global warming sceptics, who have criticised climate scientists for their lack of transparency, is becoming increasingly common. The Kochs, for instance, have overtaken the corporate funding of climate denialism by oil companies such as ExxonMobil. One such organisation, Americans for Prosperity, which was established by David Koch, claimed that the “Climategate” emails illegally hacked from the University of East Anglia in 2009 proved that global warming was the “biggest hoax the world has ever seen”.

Robert Brulle, a sociologist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, has estimated that over the past decade about $500m has been given to organisations devoted to undermining the science of climate change, with much of the money donated anonymously through third parties.

The trust has given money to the Competitive Enterprise Institute which is currently being sued for defamation by Professor Michael Mann of Pennsylvania University, an eminent climatologist, whose affidavit claims that he was accused of scientific fraud and compared to a convicted child molester.

Dr Brulle said: “We really have anonymous giving and unaccountable power being exercised here in the creation of the climate countermovement. There is no attribution, no responsibility for the actions of these foundations to the public.

“By becoming anonymous, they remove a political target. They can plausibly claim that they are not giving to these organisations, and there is no way to prove otherwise.”

Government overstates cruise terminal benefits by 25 times

Submitted by admin on Jan 25th 2013, 12:00am



Tom Holland

With only 16 ships due to call at the new Kai Tak facility in its first 11 months, the contribution to the local economy comes to only HK$27m

The front page of yesterday’s South China Morning Post carried a story warning that the Hong Kong government is overstating the economic benefits of its new cruise ship terminal at Kai Tak by a factor of four.

I’ve got some bad news. The government’s over-estimate is far bigger than that.

I’m not quibbling here with my colleagues’ projections for how many ships will call at the new terminal, or how much their passengers will spend when they step ashore.

But I am taking issue with how much that spending will add to Hong Kong’s economy.

Government officials reckon the Kai Tak terminal will contribute around HK$1 billion to the city this year.

However, according to yesterday’s article, only 16 ships are booked to berth at the new terminal in the 11 months after its June opening. Based on past spending patterns, the 34,000 passengers they will disgorge are likely to spend around HK$100 million during their run ashore.

Factoring in a multiplier effect of 2.5 times, Terence Chong, associate economics professor at the Chinese University, said all that extra spending will add HK$250 million to the city’s economy.

No it won’t. First, we have the question of additionality. Cruise ships already call at Hong Kong. According to the Tourism Board, their passengers spent just over HK$70 million here in 2011.

So if all visiting liners berth at the new terminal, the extra spending will be just HK$30 million, not HK$100 million. Even assuming that half the ships that called before continue to tie up at their old berths while the other half switch to Kai Tak, the additional spending attributable to the new terminal will be only HK$60 million.

Next, we have a question of how much that spending actually contributes to Kong Kong’s economy.

Existing visitors devote three-quarters of their non-hotel expenditure to shopping, and a quarter to meals, tours, nightclubs and so on.

Now, most visitors these days are mainlanders who come here with the express purpose of going shopping. So let us assume our new cruise ship passengers are a mixture of Japanese and Europeans, who between them spend half their money on shopping and half on eating out and other entertainments.

Here’s the catch. Let’s imagine Hans-Peter from Hamburg gets off his ship, wanders into a shopping arcade and spots an Apple iPad for sale at its standard price of HK$3,088.

“Grüss Gott! That’s cheaper than back home,” he says and promptly buys one.

However, his new iPad was imported into Hong Kong, which means Hans-Peter hasn’t pumped HK$3,088 into the local economy. Typically, around 80 per cent of the sale price goes to Apple, its assembler Foxconn, and various component manufacturers. Just 20 per cent goes to local distributors and retailers. So, in fact, Hans-Peter has injected just HK$618 into Hong Kong’s economy.

Obviously, the local value-added component of tourist spending on meals, tours and the like is higher. But it is still a lot less than 100 per cent, especially as the cruise operators typically charge local restaurants and tour guides a 30 per cent commission for steering business their way.

As a result, we can estimate that for every HK$1 spent by visiting cruise ship passengers, just 45 HK cents actually goes to the local economy.

Suddenly, the extra value of our new cruise passengers’ spending no longer looks like HK$100 million, or even HK$60 million, but just HK$27 million.

Now we come to that pesky multiplier effect. I don’t know where Professor Chong got his figure of 2.5 to three times from, but I assume he must be estimating the “indirect” or even the “induced” benefits of tourist spending. The first typically includes investments by government and businesses to serve the tourist trade. The second includes spending by local employees of the tourism industry.

However, according to the standard Tourism Satellite Accounts methodology by which tourism’s contribution to the local economy is calculated, neither indirect nor induced value-added count towards gross domestic product.

Tourism lobby groups often complain this is unfair. But even if you allow that there may be indirect benefits from tourism, a multiplier effect of 2.5 to 3 times looks absurdly high by international standards.

A recent study by Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic, Development and Tourism, for example, put the local multiplier effect of the indirect benefits of tourist spending at just 1.34 times.

If we assume the same multiplier for Hong Kong, the economic benefits to the city of the extra tourist spending attributable to the Kai Tak cruise terminal in the first year of its operation will not be HK$1 billion as the government claims, or even HK$250 million as yesterday’s paper warned, but just HK$40 million.

That means the government has overestimated the terminal’s economic benefits by 25 times. Now that’s optimism. [1]


Kai Tak Cruise Terminal

Government Spending

Hong Kong Economy

Source URL (retrieved on Jan 25th 2013, 6:01am):


Letters to the Editor, January 24, 2013

Submitted by admin on Jan 24th 2013, 12:00am


Comments on Beijing’s bad air appalling

Your report (“‘Beijing cough’ an insult to capital, says professor”, January 22) that a senior health professional, Professor Pan Xiaochuan , has contrived a bizarre piece of misinformation denying the effects of air pollution on human health is disappointing and depressing.

The central government should reaffirm that it recognises that pollution harms everyone, regardless of race and culture.

The suggestion that Chinese citizens in Beijing have somehow accommodated to the catastrophic impact of pollutants on their immune and cardiopulmonary systems is ridiculous and should be strongly repudiated.

We certainly do not wish to hear this nonsense echoed by any quarter here in Hong Kong.

It is inconsistent with high- quality mainland medical and environmental health research, and the judgment of the veteran environmentalist, Professor Qu Geping , who acknowledges that economic plans have failed to protect environmental health (“Top adviser says weak rule of law fed pollution mess”, January 21).

Although their power to influence the situation quickly is limited, there is also clear recognition of the toxicity of China’s urban pollution by Beijing health authorities and education commission, and other academics and businesses, who realise that Chinese cities are being destroyed as desirable destinations by uncontrolled pollution.

The thousands of children forming queues at health stations are the most sensitive sentinels of the harm to population health. A majority will be from the lowest socio-economic groups.

Any Beijing residents who may appear to have tolerated the physiological insults of pollution will simply be survivors of the large-scale epidemic which has pushed many others into clinics, hospitals and early graves.

The same conclusion applies to Hong Kong.

Anthony Hedley, honorary professor, department of community medicine, University of Hong Kong

Source URL (retrieved on Jan 24th 2013, 5:55am):

Predicted economic benefits of Kai Tak cruise terminal grossly inflated

Submitted by admin on Jan 24th 2013, 12:00am

News›Hong Kong


Amy Nip and Keith Wallis

Tourists visiting Kai Tak hub will generate just a quarter of official estimate of HK$1b in first year

Government projections of the financial benefits of the Kai Tak terminal appear to be overestimated by as much as 75 per cent, a South China Morning Post investigation has found.

Official estimates reported in 2008 suggested the total value-added contribution to the economy would be HK$860 million to HK$1.09 billion this year alone.

But an analysis of the numbers expected when 37,000 passengers on 16 ships using the terminal between its opening in June and April next year suggest this is hugely optimistic.

An examination of each vessel’s itinerary by the Post shows Hong Kong will be a port of call for seven out of 10 passengers; the rest will be joining or ending their cruise tours in the city.

Based on the 2012 per capita spending of the two types of cruise tourists – HK$4,833 for those starting or ending their tours in Hong Kong and HK$2,141 for those stopping in briefly on their tour – all passengers will spend about HK$100 million in that time. This figure will be boosted by the value-added approach of economic analysis, which takes into consideration a “multiplier effect” of tourist expenditure, meaning the sum could go from one business to another and create bigger benefits.

The multiplier is 2.5 to 3 in Hong Kong, so HK$100 million of tourist spending would add HK$300 million to the city’s gross domestic product, associate professor of economics at Chinese University Terence Chong Tai-leung said. This is just over a quarter of the official estimate.

Hang Seng Management College’s dean of school of business Professor Raymond So Wai-man said the government tended to exaggerate the benefits of projects.

Delays in the terminal’s construction may have dragged on its competitiveness, he said, but its opening would be the starting point for HK to join the cruise race.

Chong agreed: “The building of a terminal can enhance the city’s image and create long-term benefits.”

Work on the long-awaited terminal started in 2009, after the site lay vacant for more than a decade.

The government failed to find a suitable candidate to build the terminal, and eventually decided to build it itself at a cost of HK$7.2 billion.

Competitor Singapore opened its Marina Bay Cruise Centre last October. From this June to April it will handle 89 dockings.

Jeff Bent of Worldwide Flight Services, a partner in the consortium that will run the Kai Tak terminal, said he was disappointed in the number of ship calls.

Cruise companies were not confident the terminal would open on schedule and had not bothered to book ships into it.


Kai Tak Cruise Terminal


More on this:

Kai Tak cruise hub ‘not in best location’ but expansion is timely [1]

Source URL (retrieved on Jan 24th 2013, 5:48am):


Aiming for cleaner public transport

Submitted by admin on Jan 23rd 2013, 12:00am


I refer to the article from Richard R. Vuylsteke, president of the American Chamber of Commerce (“Congestion, roadside pollution are choking development”, January 16).

All along, our strategy is to provide a safe, efficient and reliable transport system.

On roads, car journey speeds and fleet size are regularly monitored. We have implemented fiscal measures to control car growth and Hong Kong is now one of the few cities that has comparatively very low car ownership (about 14 per cent of households own private cars). While there is room for improvement in containing and reducing congestion, our road journey speeds compare favourably with major cities, including London that has a congestion charging scheme.

About 90 per cent of the trips in Hong Kong are made using public transport. This percentage is one of the world’s highest. We are expanding our railway network. Five more railway lines are scheduled for commissioning from 2014 to 2020. Upon completion, more than 70 per cent of our population will be brought into the railway catchment area.

On bus services, the chief executive in his policy address has reaffirmed that we will proceed vigorously with bus service rationalisation complemented by improved interchange service. The objective is threefold – to enable public transport modes to be used efficiently, to reduce road congestion, and to reduce emissions. In 2012, we reduced more than 1,200 bus trips in Central, Causeway Bay and Nathan Road. We have also been increasing the ratio of low-emission franchised buses (Euro IV or above) running in busy corridors. We encourage franchised bus companies to reduce emissions, including by retrofitting an emission reduction device on their buses.

The government will fund the procurement of six hybrid buses and 36 electric buses for trial by franchised bus firms.

Hong Kong has invested considerably in technology to help traffic management. Currently, 95 per cent of the junctions with signals in Hong Kong are operated under area traffic control systems. Traffic control and surveillance facilities such as CCTV cameras, variable message signs and lane control signals have been or are being installed at tunnels and bridges and some strategic routes.

We are installing five speed map panels in the New Territories for launching early this year to inform motorists of prevailing traffic conditions.

It has always been our top priority to build and manage an efficient and green transport system. We always keep an open mind to new and constructive ideas raised by the public.

Anthony Loo Khim-chung, assistant commissioner for transport (planning)



Public Transportation

Air Pollution

Source URL (retrieved on Jan 23rd 2013, 10:08pm):

Chinese leaders ‘have failed to shield environment from economic growth’

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