Wednesday, August 27, 2014   




Tunnels hit by convoy in tolls-hike protest

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Motorists drove in protest through two tunnels that raised their tolls yesterday.

Thirty members of the New Territories Association of Societies traveled in a convoy of vehicles from Yuen Long to Central Government Offices.

Using cars and taxis, they passed through Tai Lam and Western Harbour tunnels, urging the government to buy back the latter.

Association members accused the tunnel companies of ignoring the already heavy burden of motorists.

The Western Harbour Tunnel has raised its tolls for cars from HK$50 to HK$55, while those for taxis and minibuses are HK$50 and HK$65 respectively.

Minibus companies that use the tunnel are planning to apply for fare adjustments, with seven routes being affected.

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A trip from Aberdeen to Mong Kok may see passengers paying a dollar more at HK$16.

Tai Lam Tunnel has also raised its tolls for cars and taxis from HK$33 to HK$36.

Meanwhile, Tate's Cairn Tunnel, also known as Tai Lo Shan Tunnel, which connects Sha Tin and Kowloon, has applied for an 11percent increase.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon car parks belonging to the Housing Authority have raised their fees to HK$2,160 a month, from HK$2,100.

On the fares front, Legislative Council transport panel deputy chairman Gary Fan Kwok-wai has suggested that profits from MTR Corp real estate projects be included in the fare adjustment mechanism of the railway.

"MTR profits should be subsidizing the transport fares of the passengers," Fan, of the Neo Democrats, said.

He also believes a fourth cross- harbor tunnel should be built to counterbalance the Western Harbour Tunnel, whose franchise will not expire until 2023.

Yesterday also saw hikes in electricity bills with CLP Power charges up 5.9percent and those of Hongkong Electric 2.9percent.

There was comfort for those leaving Hong Kong. Some 60 airlines are lowering their fuel surcharges by 5-10percent. KELLY IP


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