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Alternatives To Bridge

So many more efficient, and deserving, alternatives to bridge

Updated on Aug 29, 2008 – SCMP

With reference to recent announcements regarding the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, when will the administration clarify its statement that travelling time to Macau and Zhuhai will be cut to 20 minutes?

It may take 20 minutes to some landing point west of Chek Lap Kok airport.

However, it takes at least another 40 minutes when traffic is light to get to downtown Kowloon from the airport and another 10 or more to reach areas of Hong Kong Island close to the Western Harbour Tunnel and even longer to get to eastern districts.

Even travelling by Airport Express requires 23 minutes to reach the airport and one would then have to walk some distance to take a bus across the bridge.

This means that with the exception of residents of Tung Chung, Tsing Yi and the northern New Territories, it would still be more convenient and less stressful for the majority of day trippers to take a ferry to Macau or Zhuhai.

In the case of Macau there is the added factor that some ferries now dock at Cotai while cars coming in from Macau would probably be held up near the bridge exit because the Macau road system is almost at saturation level in some areas.

This bridge, with no plans to include a rail link, requires detailed study as to the realistic volume of traffic it will command.

If the traffic is going to be mostly trucks from across the border bringing extra pollution onto our streets then environmental and health costs must also be factored in to the eventual costs of the project. The traditional shipping routes with strict regulations on emissions would have less negative impact.

We have our firemen battling No 5 fires with outdated radio equipment, ambulances breaking down regularly (“Another ambulance breaks down”, July 31) and hundreds of thousands still living in caged homes.

Against this, throwing billions of dollars into a possible white elephant trophy project is hardly a responsible move on the part of our government.

Martin Brinkley, Ma Wan

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