news.gov.hk – Top Story: Tunnel toll plan shelved

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news.gov.hk – Top Story
news.gov.hk – Top Story – From Hong Kong’s Information Services Department
Tunnel toll plan shelved http://www.news.gov.hk/eng/2019/03/20190326/20190326_134318_566.html Mar 25th 2019, 16:00
The Government has decided to withdraw a motion on its toll adjustment plan for rationalising traffic among the three cross-harbour tunnels due to a lack of sufficient support from the Legislative Council. The plan stipulated tolls payable by private cars, taxis and motorcycles using the Western Harbour Crossing would be lowered while those of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and the Eastern Harbour Crossing would be increased. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said today although the Government motion is a non-binding one, it involves follow-up work including an amendment to subsidiary legislation and applying for funding from LegCo’s Finance Committee for the implementation of the toll package. “We have to be very certain that we have that sort of broad-based consensus and support before we move forward, otherwise we will be wasting a lot of people’s time and keeping this commercial company (operating Western Harbour Crossing ) in suspense of what is going to happen afterwards.” It is the second time that a motion on the plan was withdrawn, following the first withdrawal in January. Mrs Lam said the two withdrawals were made for different reasons. “The first withdrawal was because of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass launching, which in the initial days had not been as smooth as we believed because it was only partial. So we do not want Legislative Council members to debate on a motion without the accurate and the comprehensive scenario in front of them, so they may come to some misunderstanding about the impact of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass on this particular package. “So we withdrew that first motion and allowed a bit of time for the Central-Wan Chai Bypass to come into full commission.” Mrs Lam said the Government has done extensive consultation and intensive lobbying in its bid to get support for the plan, but it learnt from discussions and lawmakers’ comments to the media that not enough votes would be secured. “We respect the views of individual Legislative Council members and we will accept the consequence that this package is not going to be implemented, but we will then turn our efforts and attention to other measures to address the traffic congestion issue in Hong Kong.”

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