Multiple streets in Central and Western District experienced traffic slower than 10 kilometres per hour during rush hour periods last year, the Transport Department said on Monday.

According to the department statistics, Hillier Street in Sheung Wan had the slowest-moving traffic, with vehicles registering speeds of 5.1 kilometres per hour – close to an average adult’s walking speed.

Hillier street, transport department
Hillier Street. Photo: HKFP Remix.

The data was released as the government plans to introduce a electronic road pricing system near Central. Under the pilot scheme, private car drivers will have to pay to use busy roads in Central and surrounding areas during traffic peak times.

Ted Hui Chi-fung, who represents the Chung Wan constituency on the Central and Western District Council, said the traffic jam issue had persisted for years and the road design clearly cannot accommodate the volume of traffic.

Hui added that electronic road pricing alone is not necessarily going to solve the traffic congestion problem. He urged the authorities to be more strict in cracking down on illegal parking activity.

Ted Hui Chi-fung
Ted Hui Chi-fung. File

The department’s figures also showed that private cars were one of the main causes of traffic congestion after examining the prevalence of different vehicle types.

In 2015, the government announced that illegal parking fines are set to increase by 50 per cent in 2017 as means to reduce traffic jams. Plans for the electronic road pricing scheme were also launched.

Gene Lin is a Journalism and Computer Science student at The University of Hong Kong. He worked as a reporter for the 'LIVE: Verified Updates' during the Occupy Central protests. He is also an editor at HKU's first English-language student paper, The Lion Post.