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LCQ9: The problem of road traffic noise in the Kowloon area
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    Following is a question by the Hon Martin Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council today (April 30):

Question:

    Regarding the problem of road traffic noise in the Kowloon area, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) in the past three years, of the data obtained from traffic noise surveys conducted on the East Kowloon Corridor, West Kowloon Corridor, Prince Edward Road East, Prince Edward Road West and Lung Cheung Road, and whether traffic noise affecting these road sections has shown signs of deterioration;

(b) of the number of complaints received in each of the past three years about traffic noise affecting the above road sections; and

(c) whether at present, the above road sections have been installed with noise barriers; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

Madam President,

(a) The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has conducted traffic noise surveys at dwellings near the above road sections at different times.  The findings are as follows:

Location                          Noise LevelíVdB(A)

East Kowloon Corridor                  74 - 84
(facing Chatham Road North     
and Kowloon City Road)

West Kowloon Corridor (near              80
Tung Chau Street)         

Prince Edward Road East                  80
(near Rhythm Garden)           

Prince Edward Road West (near            80
Kiu Yuen Mansion, Waterloo Road)

Lung Cheung Road (near Lower Wong      75 - 77
Taií@Sin Estate and Hsin Kuang
Centre)

    These road sections are busy trunk roads in the urban area.  As there has not been any major change in the traffic flow over the past three years, there is no significant variation in the overall traffic noise levels of these road sections and the situation has not worsened.

(b) The number of complaints received by the EPD in the past three years about traffic noise from the above road sections is as follows:

                          2005        2006      2007
East Kowloon Corridor      0          4          4
West Kowloon Corridor      13          17        6
Prince Edward Road East    1          0          0
Prince Edward Road West    2          3          0
Lung Cheung Road          1          1          2

(c) To improve the traffic noise situation of the affected neighbouring residential buildings, the Government erected noise barriers at West Kowloon Corridor (Ferry Street section and Cherry Street section) and Lung Cheung Road (near Chak On Estate, Beacon Heights and Beacon Hill) when road widening and improvement works were carried out in 1996 and 1998 respectively.

    For the other existing roads affected by high traffic noise, the Government would explore the feasibility of retrofitting noise barriers, having regard to technical and resource considerations.  The technical considerations include:

i) whether the noise barriers/enclosures will obstruct emergency access or fire fighting;

ii) whether the noise barriers/enclosures will undermine road safety or impede pedestrian and vehicular movements; and

iii) whether there will be adequate space and structural capability (applicable to flyovers) for supporting the noise barriers/enclosures.

    Based on the findings of the above technical study, the Government concluded that it was not feasible to retrofit effective noise barriers on the above road sections.

    To mitigate traffic noise, the Highways Department (HyD) has resurfaced suitable sections along the West Kowloon Corridor, the East Kowloon Corridor, Prince Edward Road East and Lung Cheung Road with low noise material.  The HyD will continue to monitor the conditions of the roads and the joints on the flyovers, carry out maintenance works whenever necessary and keep the road joints as smooth as possible, so as to ensure the best noise reduction results from the use of the low noise material.

Ends/Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Issued at HKT 14:11

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