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Traffic grows on Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-03 09:50
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This photo taken by a drone shows vehicles running on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge on July 11, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

A steady flow of vehicles passed through the Zhuhai port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge during the New Year holiday.

With the guidance of customs and transportation officers, the clearance process was smooth and orderly.

It is becoming an evermore common scene for private vehicles, mostly cars registered in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, to enter or exit the Chinese mainland via the 55-kilometer sea crossing each day, especially during public holidays and weekends.

The number of inbound and outbound passenger vehicles passing through the bridge has increased significantly, with a total clearance volume exceeding 2.68 million vehicles last year, a 1.35-fold year-on-year increase, according to the customs.

Among them, nearly 1.4 million were vehicles only registered in one of the SARs, or single-plated vehicles, according to data released on Tuesday from the Gongbei Customs in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, which oversees the bridge.

Since the implementation of policies to allow single-plated vehicles to head north into the mainland through the bridge early in 2023, there has been a strong demand from residents of Hong Kong and Macao to drive into the mainland during public holidays and weekends, according to customs.

Before the policies, only dual-plate vehicles — those registered both in the mainland and in Hong Kong or Macao — could make cross-border journeys.

On Christmas Day alone, the overall volume of inbound and outbound passenger and cargo vehicles reached 16,000, of which more than 14,000 were passenger vehicles, setting new records for daily vehicle traffic at the bridge port.

Single-plated vehicles from Hong Kong have become the main force driving the increase of inbound and outbound vehicle traffic flow at the ports, according to the customs.

"The passage through the bridge port is very convenient. Since we have a holiday, I decided to take my family to the mainland for a tour, visiting some attractions and trying out the local cuisine in Zhuhai," said an owner of a single-plated car from Hong Kong, surnamed Lau.

Further integration of software and hardware facilities in the GBA has provided greater convenience for residents of Hong Kong and Macao to travel north for consumption and leisure, according to Liu Yanjun, deputy director of the customs of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.

"Driven by the policies to allow vehicles from Hong Kong and Macao to head north to the mainland, economic and trade exchanges, as well as personnel exchanges between Guangdong and the two special administrative regions have become increasingly close — day tours to cities in the GBA have also become a new trend," said Liu.

To ensure smooth traffic flow, Gongbei Customs has strengthened emergency cooperation with customs authorities from Hong Kong and Macao, according to Liu.

"We have strengthened information exchange, video sharing and mutual assistance in security, especially during the traffic peak period, allowing for effective management of the high-volume vehicle traffic and ensured a seamless experience for travelers crossing the bridge," said Liu.


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