Friday, October 27, 2006

Why There Are No Trams in Kowloon

Here is an excerpt from a Legislative Council Session in 1923 that explains this question:
I should like to suggest for the consideration of the Government whether it is advisable to have any trams at all in Kowloon. I candidly admit that until recently my view has been that we required for the adequate development of the Kowloon hinterland to avail ourselves of every possible means of communication. I am now, however, inclined to doubt whether that view is correct, seeing that in London and other large cities the motor bus has been driving out the Tram.

Furthermore, the bus has three advantages over the Tram, namely, firstly, it is mobile and not tied to any fixed track; and secondly, it is faster than the tram; and thirdly, it is less noisy.

Another disadvantage in employing trams is that they tend to impede the working of motor bus and car traffic.
So there you have it. The speaker Mr. Pollock's reasoning was agreed to by the other members of Legco, and the tram idea was nixed, particularly in a time of reduced budgets. The tram had taken off on Hong Kong side when it was actually a fast mode of conveyance, before buses or cars existed in Hong Kong, in the 1890s. It is a surprising fact that the tram, or 'ding-ding' as it is affectionately known here still exists (except for the cheap HK$2 fare, of course). But in unsentimental Hong Kong, every anachronism should be heartily embraced with both arms flung wide.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Let us all rise, arm, unite, and go against them."

how many times we heard that!
from ones to anothers,
from them to all,
from they to them
from A to Z...

so many anger in this world!