LCQ4: Transport connection and other ancillary facilities for new public housing estates in Kowloon Bay

     Following is a question by the Hon Alan Leong and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, in the Legislative Council today (March 28):


     While the occupants have been moving into the three new public housing estates (namely Choi Fook Estate, Choi Tak Estate and Choi Ying Estate) in Kowloon Bay one after another, some residents have relayed to me that the ancillary facilities in the district in respect of transport and daily necessities remain inadequate. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that at present the residents in the district only rely on public light bus routes 83A and 83M as well as several franchised bus routes for transport connection, and some residents have pointed out that their services are completely inadequate, causing inconvenience particularly to the elderly and chronic patients to travel in and out of the district, whether the Transport Department has carried out any transport and traffic assessment so as to ensure that the public transport service currently provided is sufficient to meet the needs of the population of the three new housing estates; if it has, of the conclusion; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether the Government has requested the transport operators to re-align their franchised bus routes or public light bus routes which run through the district or its vicinity, so as to facilitate the residents to travel in and out of the district; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(c) given that the existing ancillary facilities in respect of daily necessities in the district comprise only large supermarkets and chain stores but lack small shops such as "tea restaurants" and grocery stores, etc. that suit the standard of living of public housing tenants, whether the Government had considered matching the types of shops with the needs of the residents when planning for the relevant housing estates; if it had, whether it has assessed if there is a mismatch now; if it had not, of the reasons for that; and

(d) given that no basic ancillary facility for housing estates such as large wet market, etc. has been completed so far since the occupation of the three housing estates, whether the Government has a timetable for building a wet market in the district; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



(a) and (b) In planning for Choi Fook Estate, Choi Tak Estate and Choi Ying Estate, the Administration carried out an assessment on public transport services having regard to the planned population, roads and transport facilities. Advice from the Transport Department (TD) and other government departments on road and public transport facilities as well as the demand of residents for public transport services had been taken into consideration in the course of the exercise. The assessment recommended that the three estates should be served by franchised bus services to Hong Kong Island, Central Kowloon and Kwun Tong. There should also be green minibus (GMB) feeder services for interchange with the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) or other public transport modes. Furthermore, it was recommended that the barrier-free pedestrian walkway systems at the three estates should be strengthened so that residents can reach the MTR station nearby on foot in 10 to 12 minutes.    

     Upon the completion and occupation of the three estates, TD has been liaising closely with the franchised bus companies and GMB operators for the gradual enhancement of public transport services for the area concerned. In doing so, TD has drawn reference to the recommendations of the aforementioned assessment and taken into account the actual needs of the residents for public transport services.  

     At present, Choi Ying Estate is connected to Kowloon Bay MTR Station Exit B by a barrier-free pedestrian footbridge. It is also directly linked with Choi Tak Estate and Choi Fook Estate via elevators and a barrier-free pedestrian walkway system. Apart from using the barrier-free pedestrian walkway system to Kowloon Bay MTR Station, residents of the three estates can take GMB routes No. 83M (Choi Ying Estate - Ping Shek) or No. 83A (Choi Fook Estate - Ping Shek) to Ping Shek and Kowloon Bay MTR Station via trunk roads such as Ngau Tau Kok Road, Kwun Tong Road or New Clear Water Bay Road. They can then make use of the MTR or other public transport modes to go to all districts in Hong Kong.  

     The franchised bus companies have also been providing services through cross-harbour route No. 111P to Hong Kong Island Central (Choi Fook - Central (Macao Ferry Pier)), route No. 606P to Hong Kong Island East (Choi Wan - Siu Sai Wan (Island Resort)), Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) route No. 9 (Choi Fook - Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier) which offers special services to Central Kowloon, and KMB route No. 14B (Choi Fook - Lam Tin (Kwong Tin)) which has been introduced in February 2012 to run special trips via Kwun Tong town centre. Separately, residents may opt for bus and minibus services that run along Ngau Tau Kok Road and Choi Wan Road for journeys to and from areas such as Hong Kong Island, Central Kowloon and Eastern New Territories.  

     The present public transport services for the three estates can generally cope with passenger demand. TD will continue to monitor the situation. It will consider enhancing local public transport services in consultation with the franchised bus companies and GMB operators if necessary.

(c) In planning for retail facilities for new estates, the Hong Kong Housing Authority would take into account different factors such as the planned population of new estates, their locations and the provision of retail facilities in the neighbouring areas, etc. Generally speaking, new estates are provided with retail facilities that could meet the daily needs of the residents.

     At present, the Choi Ying Place shopping centre in Choi Ying Estate comprises convenience stores, supermarkets, Hong Kong style cafes and medical clinic, etc. The adjacent Choi Tak Shopping Centre in Choi Tak Estate also has various retail and services trades such as Chinese restaurant, Hong Kong style cafe, shop selling fresh/chilled, frozen and general provision, bakery, household store, medicine store, medical and dental clinics. The two commercial centres are intended to provide a range of outlets to satisfy and cater for the daily needs of residents in Choi Tak Estate, Choi Fook Estate and Choi Ying Estate.

     Apart from these, there are other retail and commercial facilities in the private residential developments in Kowloon Bay, offering different kinds of retail and commercial services.

(d) There are several markets (including Ngau Chi Wan Market, Ngau Tau Kok Market and two markets in Choi Wan Estate) in the vicinity of Choi Tak Estate, Choi Fook Estate and Choi Ying Estate. They provide different kinds of fresh food to meet the needs of the residents. The Government currently has no plan to construct a new market in Kowloon Bay.

Ends/Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:56