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Letter to the South China Morning Post

bus-pollutionLast week the Legco Panel on Environmental Affairs received submissions on the Euro 1 and pre Euro diesel vehicle retirement scheme. We are led to believe the proposed increased road licence fee on these vehicles will not be enough to get them off the road. The replacement of these vehicles is a health measure to reduce major roadside pollution.

We suggest what will  make a difference is to require a full roadworthiness  test twice a year for vehicles up to 15 years old and three times a year for 15-20 year diesel bangers, in addition to a levy on imported replacement spare parts.  The ‘hassle’ value and the cost of repeated maintenance and  testing may be enough to get the owners to voluntarily scrap the vehicles for which there should be no charge at surrender areas.

We suggest members of the public write  letters  directly to LegCo members on the Environmental Panel to influence them into positive action.

Meanwhile a firmer line must be taken with the bus companies to use hybrid and  or Euro 5 vehicles on the major thoroughfares like Nathan Road; considering these companies obtain their diesel without excise duty and are not required to pay first registration tax on their vehicles ,their licence to print money needs mandatory early retirement of their existing polluting fleet. KMB has 1240 Pre and Euro 1 buses out of a fleet of 3880; Citibus has 350 pre and Euro 1 buses out of a fleet of 920 and New World First Bus has 110 out of 700. There are only 145 Euro 4 buses in Hong Kong out of a total fleet of 5,760.

James Middleton

Chairman Energy Committee

Clear the Air

Tel 26930136

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