LCQ9: Traffic situation in Yuen Long
Some residents in Yuen Long have relayed to me that traffic congestion is frequent in Yuen Long town centre during rush hours, and the most serious situations are found on Castle Peak Road - Yuen Long Section (commonly known as Yuen Long Main Road), the section of carriageway from Long Tin Road into Yuen Long Highway, as well as Pok Oi Interchange and its link roads. The traffic of the aforesaid road sections is paralysed whenever traffic accidents happen. Such residents are worried that the road network of Yuen Long town centre will be overloaded when the population in Northwest New Territories surges by 260 000 to 1 240 000 upon the successive completion of the projects of Hung Shui Kiu New Development Area and Yuen Long South development from 2024 onwards. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective design capacities of the section of carriageway from Long Tin Road into Yuen Long Highway, Pok Oi Interchange, Yuen Long Main Road and Long Yat Road;
(2) of (i) the traffic volumes of the road sections mentioned in (1) during rush hours and non-rush hours, (ii) the numbers of traffic accidents that happened on such road sections, and (iii) the numbers of complaints relating to traffic congestion on such road sections received by the authorities, in each of the past five years;
(3) whether it reviewed in the past three years the design of Pok Oi Interchange and its link roads, with a view to improving the road safety of such road sections; if so, of the details and outcome of the review; if not, whether it will conduct such a review;
(4) whether it has formulated short-term and long-term improvement measures to ease the congestion on the aforesaid road sections; and
(5) as the authorities have indicated in the Public Transport Strategy Study published in June this year that they would, in collaboration with the MTR Corporation Limited, study the relocation of one of the two Light Rail tracks along Yuen Long Main Road so as to release more road space for vehicular traffic, of the commencement time of the study, the estimated time required for the implementation of the works, and the party that will bear the costs of the works?
My reply to the various parts of the Hon Kenneth Lau's question is as follows:
(1) The design capacity of Long Tin Road slip road to Yuen Long Highway, Castle Peak Road - Yuen Long Section (commonly known as Yuen Long Main Road) and Long Yat Road is respectively 1 400, 1 900 and 2 800 vehicles per hour for one direction. For Pok Oi Interchange, it is a roundabout and its traffic condition is expressed in "Design Flow to Capacity (DFC) ratio" (Note) .
(2) The peak hour traffic flow of the roads mentioned in part (1) of our reply is set out at Annex 1. As the traffic flow during non-peak hours does not usually affect the traffic condition, the Transport Department (TD) has not compiled statistics on the traffic flow during non-peak hours. For Pok Oi Interchange, its DFC ratio during the morning peak hours is 0.85 and during the evening peak hours is 0.84, which implies that the Pok Oi Interchange has sufficient capacity. The traffic flow of the above-mentioned roads is not saturated. However, relatively heavy traffic may occur at the road junctions or interchange during the peak hours. Separately, the number of traffic accidents and number of complaints relating to traffic congestion on the above-mentioned roads over the past five years are set out at Annexes 2 and 3.
(3) In order to improve the traffic condition of Pok Oi Interchange and the adjoining roads, the Highways Department has completed the Pok Oi Interchange Improvement Works in October 2016. The works include construction of Yuen Long Highway slip roads in both north and south bounds, and construction of a left-turn lane at the exit to Pok Oi Hospital. Vehicles from Yuen Long South to/from Tai Lam Tunnel and North District and vehicles from Tai Lam Tunnel and North District to Au Tau can bypass Pok Oi Interchange.
Besides, to cope with the traffic condition upon completion of the improvement works, the TD has extended the vehicular green time of Shap Pat Heung Road towards Shap Pat Heung Interchange and Tai Kei Leng Road towards Shap Pat Heung Road. The road markings are also revised to further enhance the traffic condition of Pok Oi Interchange.
(4) Apart from the Pok Oi Interchange Improvement Works, the TD has completed the modification of road markings at the Long Tin Road slip road to Yuen Long Highway (Sheung Shui bound) in January 2017 so as to facilitate vehicles from Long Tin Road slip road merging into Yuen Long Highway. For long-term improvement measures, in view of the long-term developments in northwestern New Territories, including the proposed Hung Shui Kiu New Development Area and Yuen Long South development, a new strategic route (Route 11) to connect northwestern New Territories and the urban areas is needed to cope with the increase in traffic demand. Subject to approval of funding by the Legislative Council, the Government will conduct a feasibility study on Route 11 to link up North Lantau and Yuen Long.
(5) The Government has indicated in the Public Transport Strategy Study that it will strive to seek resources to conduct detailed study in determining the feasibility and desirability of the long term proposal on improving the mode of operation of Light Rail along Yuen Long Main Road. Upon obtaining the resources, the relevant departments will commence the study as soon as possible. The works implementation plan, including the programme and cost aspects, will be further confirmed upon completion of the study.
Note: Design Flow to Capacity (DFC) ratio shows the operation performance of a roundabout. A DFC ratio less than 1.0 implies that there is sufficient capacity; greater than 1.0 implies that the roundabout is overloaded.
Ends/Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:45
Issued at HKT 15:45