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Chief Executive in Council approves Tate's Cairn Tunnel toll increase

     The Government announced today (July 2) that the Chief Executive in Council has approved the revised application for toll increase by Tate's Cairn Tunnel Company Limited (TCTCL) to be in effect from January 1, 2016.

     The increments are $1 for buses, $2 for motorcycles and $3 for private cars, taxis and every additional axle in excess of two, while the tolls for light buses and goods vehicles remain unchanged. The weighted average rate of increase will be 11.9 per cent. The current and new tolls are set out in the Annex.

     TCTCL will provide a $3 promotional discount for empty taxis between midnight and 6am in the first six months after the new tolls become effective, subject to further review. It has also pledged not to submit any further toll increase application before the expiry of the franchise.

     "After receiving TCTCL's toll increase application on September 23, 2014, the Government has urged the company to reconsider the need for the rise and the proposed magnitude of increase. It is of the view that the company should minimise the impact of toll increase on public transport vehicles (namely public light buses and buses) as well as goods vehicles," the Government spokesman said.

     Having regard to the views expressed by members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Transport and the Transport Advisory Committee (TAC), and after further negotiations with the Government, TCTCL has reduced some of its toll increase proposal.

     "In making the decision, the Chief Executive in Council has holistically considered all the relevant factors, including TCTCL's financial position, operating costs, service performance, public affordability and acceptability, and whether TCTCL is obtaining reasonable but not excessive remuneration, traffic implications, as well as advice from the LegCo Panel and the TAC, etc," the spokesman said.

     "When the TAC tendered its views to the Government, it had considered all relevant factors. They are of the view that TCTCL's current application for toll increase is justified. The TAC has also advised that it would be desirable where possible for the Government and TCTCL to reach an agreement on the toll increase rather than to incur public expenditure on legal costs in resolving differences through arbitration."

     According to the Government's assessment, the traffic impact of the toll increase on the road network linking Sha Tin and Kowloon is not likely to be significant while commuters may consider alternate routes and transport modes. The Government will closely monitor the traffic situation before and after the toll increase.

     The last toll increase at the Tate's Cairn Tunnel was effected on August 1, 2013, when tolls for all types of vehicles and every additional axle in excess of two (except for motorcycles) went up by $2, and motorcycles $1. The then weighted average rate of toll increase was 11.1 per cent.

Ends/Thursday, July 2, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:34


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