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TAC discusses "Our Future Railway" Stage 2 Public Engagement Exercise and proposed measures to improve traffic distribution among road harbour crossings

     The Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) was briefed today (February 26) on the "Our Future Railway" Stage 2 Public Engagement Exercise and the consultants' preliminary ideas on seven local enhancement schemes for existing railway lines.

     "The TAC supports the Administration taking forward the study for the Review and Update of the Railway Development Strategy 2000, with a view to mapping out the future railway development blueprint to meet transport demand in a cost-effective manner in the light of public comments," the TAC Chairman, Mr Larry Kwok, said.

     Members were also briefed on the proposed measures to improve the traffic distribution among the road harbour crossings (RHCs), on which the Government has commenced a three-month public consultation until May 7, 2013.

     Members noted that all three toll adjustment options put forward by the Government could reduce the traffic queue at the Cross Harbour Tunnel (CHT) during peak hours by 30 per cent to 40 per cent, bringing about a notable improvement to the current congestion at the CHT. They would bring positive economic and environmental benefits to the community as a whole, such as reductions in travel time, fuel costs and vehicle maintenance fees, as well as reductions in vehicle emissions.

     "We welcome the Government's efforts in improving the traffic distribution amongst the three RHCs, and in responding to the feedback received during the last round of public consultation by devising a new toll adjustment option which freezes the tolls for public transport vehicles," Mr Kwok said.

     "The TAC notes that as the toll adjustment options involve different degrees of toll adjustments for different vehicle types at the CHT and the Eastern Harbour Crossing, there will be varying impact on different tunnel users. The TAC welcomes the Government's public consultation exercise and appeals to the general public to take the opportunity to express their opinions on this important issue.

     "We believe that the Government will consider the traffic benefits as well as the public's acceptability of the toll adjustment options proposed. We will provide our views to the Government in due course after mature consideration of the three toll adjustment options."

     The TAC also discussed the toll increase application from the Tate's Cairn Tunnel Company Limited (TCTC).

     Mr Kwok said that the TAC, in deliberating on the TCTC's application, had considered and balanced various factors including public acceptability, the company's financial position and whether it is obtaining reasonable but not excessive remuneration, as well as traffic implications.

     "We note that the Government will process the toll increase application in accordance with the established procedures," Mr Kwok said.

     "Similar to other fare increase applications, the TAC will submit its recommendation on the current toll increase application to the Government for consideration by the Chief Executive in Council."

Ends/Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:46


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