In 2011, the government set up low emission testing spots in Central, Causeway Bay and Mongkok. However, the implementation of the plan only included a few street blocks in these three districts and we simply dubbed as “low emission streets”. In addition, low emission zones only regulate buses, and thus, its’ effectiveness is questionable.
According to data collected from 2014, franchised buses only account for 40% of total traffic accounts in Central, Causeway Bay, Mongkok and other busy areas, whilst the remaining 60% consists of other vehicles. In other words, the roadside pollution produced by other vehicles may offset the environmental effectiveness of low emission zones, which only regulate buses.
For real low emission zones, Clean Air Network has the following suggestions:
- Install catalytic reduction devices in all 1400 Euro II and III buses, no later than the end of 2016;
- Expand the current geographical scope;
- Prohibit other high emission vehicles from entering low emission zones;
- Enhance the effectiveness of low emission zones by combining pedestrian zones, for example, combining Des Voeux Road Central pedestrian zone with tram zones.