The frequent jamming of Hiram’s Highway would be largely eliminated if officials would think out of the box, a transport expert said.
Geoff Daniel, who has worked in public transport all his career in the UK, Taiwan and Hong Kong, recommended measures to keep the traffic flowing:
— Police should enforce the no-injury rule, ie if an accident has occurred and no one is hurt drivers must get vehicles off the road. Otherwise they will be charged with obstruction.
— Minibuses should be banned from stopping except in laybys.
— A utilities trench should be constructed on the edge of Hiram’s Highway.
This would be a concrete tunnel, say, 12ft by 12ft and after construction all utilities
— electricity, water, telecoms, gas –would be fed through it.
— Heavy and dangerous good vehicles should be banned from Sai Sha Road and Hiram’s Highway.
Geoff, who was Chief Electrical and Mechanical Engineer of the MTR before he retired, said officials have been dithering over the widening of Hiram’s Highway to four lanes for 30 years. Phase 2, which will see the widening of the road from Ho Chung to Marina Cove, is due to start later this year. Public consultation is only just starting for Phase 3. That will extend the four lanes to Sha Ha and will take at least 10 more years. “Look at all the local opposition,” Geoff said.
As each phase is built the traffic jams will just get shunted along the road. Residents and visitors will have no respite from Sai Kung road chaos until officials act decisively. “Every government department competes with every other government department.
Every utility provider competes with every other utility provider,” he said. Shanghai has shown the way building utility trenches in the roads.
Widening Sai Sha Road would be prohibitively expensive because of the steep topography it winds through.
Three-lane roads are not the answer; they are banned in Europe because too many accidents result. “The only solution is the MTR.”