The Transport Department (TD) today (October 11) again appealed to protesters illegally occupying roads to release the roads so that traffic and the public's daily life could get back to normal.
At an inter-departmental press conference today, the Assistant Commissioner for Transport, Mr Albert Su, said that members of the public in the past ten plus days had exercised the greatest tolerance and changed their travel patterns such as reducing the use of private cars and setting off early to help relieve the pressure on roads. He reiterated that these travel patterns could not last long. Also, the services of public transport had not yet fully resumed normal and the frontline staff members of public transport companies were working under great pressure. Some of the bus termini had to be relocated due to the closure of roads and as a result affected the rest times and meal breaks of the bus captains. Mr Su therefore urged the protesters illegally occupying the roads to release them as soon as possible.
Today is Saturday and traffic flow is less than the normal working day. However, traffic on alternative routes was still slow during the occupation of major trunk roads. Meanwhile, the protesters this morning allowed eight tramcars to return to Happy Valley from the Whitty Street tram depot. Thus tram services between Happy Valley and Causeway Bay (circular) resumed this morning. As the section of tram tracks between Des Voeux Central and Ice House Street was re-opened, tram services between Kennedy Town and Ice House Street also resumed today.
Meanwhile, several hundreds of goods vehicles will be travelling via Wan Chai North today and tomorrow to carry goods and items for a large-scale exhibition to be held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. It is anticipated that traffic pressure on roads in the vicinity of Wan Chai North including Fleming Road, Convention Avenue and Expo Drive would continue.
Mr Su appealed to motorists not to drive to Hong Kong Island as far as possible because the traffic was expected to be even busier when more people were going out at night on weekend. Members of the public should continue to set off earlier and allow more time for travelling. They should also pay attention to the TD and bus companies' announcement of transport and traffic information to plan their journey in advance.
Regarding public transport services, a total of 227 bus routes are affected today, representing 40 per cent of the total bus routes. This included 19 suspended bus routes and 208 diverted bus routes. Cross harbour route 104 resumed partial service with truncated route from Wan Chai to Pak Tin today. Another cross harbour route 113 will also resume partial service tomorrow with truncated route from Wan Chai to Kowloon East. The TD will continue to review the road situation with the bus companies to resume normal bus services gradually if possible.
A total of 27 Green minibus routes are still diverted, suspended or with service adjusted.
The TD's Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre will continue to monitor the road traffic situation and transport services. For details of the major traffic and transport arrangements currently implemented, please refer to the TD website (www.td.gov.hk).
Ends/Saturday, October 11, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:27