Uncontrolled growth of the numbers of private cars is the main reason of severe roadside pollution. Hong Kong has 54 million private cars in 2014, which is 40% higher than the number in 2004. It is estimated that an extra of 315 tons of NO2 will be produced 10 years later following the trend.
Electronic Road Pricing would be an effective method to reduce traffic, and solve the traffic congestion and air pollution. Successful implementations can be seen in Singapore, London and Gothenburg, where achieved 15-16% reduction on traffic. We once carried out ERP in Hong Kong during 1983-85 that has successfully reduced 17% air pollutant emissions and 20-24% driving time.
We have some suggestions regarding the set-up of ERP in Hong Kong:
- Charge vehicles according to their EU models, the more polluting the vehicles are charged more;
- Apply a higher charge on taxi and private cars as they take up 80% of the traffic in peak hour, this encourages more use of public transport in Central.