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Roadside Air Pollution in Hong Kong

Updated on Jan 30, 2009 – SCMP

I agree with your correspondent P.A. Crush (Talkback, January 24) that diesel buses and trucks are not the only sources of poisonous gases and particulate matter in roadside air pollution in Hong Kong.

Just look at the high-sulfur fuel being burned by the ocean-going vessels and other ships in our “fragrant” harbour.

The problem of air pollution will only go away with increased public support and increased pressure on the government to make a decision and act.

World Health Organisation air quality standards must be put in place. A polluter-pays policy can then be applied and we will see the results immediately.

A road-pricing scheme has been considered but this means the rich will drive faster to the next traffic jam caused by the remainder blocking the narrow side roads while avoiding the toll roads, and delivery costs will increase to offset the road tolls.

First, government officials should have their cars and drivers taken away from them, and be made to use public transport, to set an example.

A re-evaluation of bus routes could reduce the high number of diesel buses on our streets with shuttle buses operating between major terminuses.

These shuttle buses could serve the most common routes of these buses and it would reduce congestion in most central city areas.

On the subject of increased fares, I believe this is not necessary as buses do not need passengers to make money.

The advertisements covering these buses are more than enough to make them profitable as, empty or not, they are a major source of revenue.

Michael Pieper, Discovery Bay

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