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    General information:
    The total land area of Hong Kong is approx. 400 square miles. This figure?

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: General information:
    The total land area of Hong Kong is approx. 400 square miles. This figure includes HK Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and all outlying islands.

    The population in Hong Kong is a little of over 4 million. The rate of increase, though never officially projected, is approx. 10,000 per year.

    The Public Works Dept. in HK estimates that there are 610 miles of roads within the Colony's land area. But the actual usage of such roads is uneven.

    The number of cars using roads in the New Territories, and even parts of HK island, for instance, are minimal any time of the day. But other roads experience heavy traffic irrespective of what time of the day it is.

    The busiest road on HK Island is Queensway, with an estimated 58,260 cars using this road every day.

    The busiest road in Kowloon is Prince Edward Rd., with an estimated 107,170 cars using it every day.

    The HK Transport Survey Office has provided the following figures: The total number of vehicles registered in HK (July 1973)...199,399 Of this total, an incomplete breakdown is as follows:
    1. Private cars.......128,192
    2. Lorries and other service cars....30,753
    3. Taxis.................4,546
    4. Buses.................2,998
    5. Other (Including Motorcycles, mini-taxis....)...32.910
    Compared to the figures of July 1972, the 1973 figures represent an overall increase of 13%. The highest percentage increase is in the number of taxis -- 34%.

    The ratio between the number of people in HK and the number of registered vehicles is approx. 20:1.

    Cross-Harbour Tunnel:
    The tunnel was completed in August 1972 at a cost of over 20 million pounds sterling. Although the tunnel has made access between HK island and Kowloon easier, it has contributed to the traffic problem. The volume of traffic passing through the tunnel in August 1972 was 697,000. In December 1972, the figure increased to 850,000 per month. Despite the toll of HK$5.00 (40p) per car one way, the number of cars using the tunnel is steadily increasing. Overpasses have been built at the entrance and exit areas of the tunnel to traffic going in and out of the four-lane tunnel.

    Underground railway system:
    Negotiations are currently under way to build an underground tube system to connect all main points in the Colony. No date has been set for the construction, but once completed it should cut down the number of vehicles on the road considerably. The multi-million sterling contract will be a joint venture between the government and a private consortium, and the HK Financial Secretary, Philip Haddon-Cave is currently in London for talks on this project.

    Some Observations:
    Cars are status symbols in HK. It's not uncommon for certain families to own 3 cars.

    Parking is a known problem in HK., despite five large parking lots. The price at these lots are fairly cheap (10p per hour), and do not deter owners from driving into Central. But the lack of space does. Some families skirt the problem by hiring a chauffeur to drive them back and forth -- compounding, in a way, the traffic congestion. Taxis are comparatively cheap -- HK$1.50 fir first mile (12p), and contribute to the traffic congestion. But despite the great number of taxis on the road, in terms of consumer needs, that amount is still insufficient.

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