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LCQ10: Traffic assessments of proposed development at Anderson Road Quarry

     Following is a question by the Hon Wong Kwok-kin and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (March 20):


     According to the Final Recommended Outline Development Plan for the Planning Study on Future Land Use at Anderson Road Quarry submitted to this Council by the authorities in February this year, the Quarry site will provide 9 410 residential units housing 25 000 people. The Development at Anderson Road, a neighbouring project which is underway, will provide about 18 000 public rental housing units housing 48 300 people. Upon the completion of these two development projects, the population of Sau Mau Ping district will increase by about 73 000. Regarding the ancillary transport facilities concerned, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the traffic volume of the roads in the vicinity of the Quarry site in the past two years, and the projected traffic volume of these roads from this year to 2016 (set out in Table 1);

(b) how the authorities will enhance the public transport services (including franchised buses and public light buses, etc.) in the area around the Quarry site to tie in with the two development projects, and of the relevant details (set out in table form); if no details are currently available, when the Government will draw up the details;

(c) whether it has assessed if Hip Wo Street and Hong Ning Road can cope with the additional traffic volume arising from vehicles travelling from the Quarry site to Kwun Tong Road as well as the Kwun Tong redevelopment project; if the assessment results are in the negative, whether the Government will widen the two roads; if it will, of the work schedule; if not, the reasons for that;

(d) given that the authorities plan to build footbridges with lift towers and/or escalators to link the Quarry site with the surrounding areas, of the detailed plan and work schedule of such projects; and

(e) given that the Quarry site is far away from the existing railway network, whether the authorities will consider including that area in the service coverage of the envisaged "environmentally friendly linkage system for Kowloon East" (which is envisaged to adopt an elevated monorail system linking the Kai Tak Development area, Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay with the existing MTR Kwun Tong Line and the future Shatin to Central Link), to enhance the external transport facilities for that area; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that and whether the authorities will examine afresh the feasibility of building the MTR Kwun Tong Line Extension, so as to cover that area by the railway network; if they will examine, of the timetable?



     The Planning Department has already conducted traffic assessments on the planned population during the Planning Study on Future Land Use at Anderson Road Quarry. The assessments have already taken into account the possible cumulative traffic impact that may arise from the adjacent Development at Anderson Road. According to the assessment findings, with the implementation of appropriate improvement measures (including road/junction improvement measures and pedestrian linkage facilities), the proposed development at the quarry site will not cause unacceptable impact on the traffic situation of the area.

     The consolidated reply of the Development Bureau and Transport and Housing Bureau to various parts of the question is as follows:

(a) According to the consultancy report of "Planning Study on Future Land Use at Anderson Road Quarry", the traffic volume of the roads in the vicinity of the Quarry site in the past two years, and the projected traffic volume of these roads from this year to 2016 are listed in Table 2.

(b) As population intake for the proposed development at the Anderson Road Quarry is estimated not to commence until 2022/23, the Administration could only finalise the detailed plan on the relevant public transport arrangements at a time nearer the intake stage. Nevertheless, based on the Final Recommended Outline Development Plan and the recommendations of the traffic assessments, the Administration has already reserved sufficient land within the quarry site for a public transport terminus and pick-up/drop-off points. Future residents will also be encouraged to use other nearby MTR stations to share the demand on the Kwun Tong MTR Station during peak hours. The Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) will formulate a public transport plan in the engineering study that has already commenced.

(c) For the short term, CEDD has completed road improvement works at the junction of Hip Wo Street and Hong Ning Road in November 2012, preliminarily alleviating traffic congestions in the vicinity. For the long term, according to the traffic assessment proposal of the "Planning Study on Future Land Use at Anderson Road Quarry", the Government will further improve traffic conditions in the nearby areas through appropriate planning of vehicle ingress/egress locations for the sites to be developed at Anderson Road Quarry and implementation of proposed road/junction improvement measures and pedestrian link facilities. According to the traffic assessment, after the implementation of proposed road/junction improvement measures, there would not be significant impact on the traffic conditions of the roads in the town centre of Kwun Tong, including Hip Wo Street and Hong Ning Road.

(d) CEDD is conducting an engineering study on the proposed development at the Anderson Road Quarry, during which further assessments will be made on the proposed pedestrian linkage facilities connecting the quarry site and the Kwun Tong town centre, so as to establish the priorities of the proposed routes. This will facilitate the Administration to formulate the proposal for phased implementation of the facilities concerned. Upon establishing the proposed construction priorities of the routes and completion of the relevant technical assessments, the Administration will consult the District Councils again.

     We plan to include the relevant works items into the Public Works Programme towards the end of this year and commission consultants to carry out detailed engineering design in mid-2014, so as to enable the project to go through the statutory gazettal and approval procedures. If the items concerned do not involve any land resumption or statutory environmental impact assessment, we expect that the works can commence in 2016 at the earliest and complete in 2018/19. In the course of the engineering study, CEDD will also examine the possibility of expediting the implementation of the road/junction improvement measures and the pedestrian linkage facilities.

(e) The "Environmentally Friendly Linkage System (EFLS)", in the form of elevated monorail, has limited climbing ability that makes the system difficult to overcome steep uphill gradient. To extend the monorail alignment to the Anderson Road Quarry site, which is situated at the hillside area, technical limitation is a major concern. Besides, the headroom under the Kwun Tong MTR line is insufficient to accommodate the monorail. An extension of the EFLS uphill towards the Anderson Road Quarry site will involve an alignment that crosses the existing elevated Kwun Tong MTR line by climbing above it and bring about serious visual impact. Given the above, extending the EFLS to the Anderson Road Quarry site is not recommended.

     As for the idea of constructing a heavy railway system or medium capacity railway system, the Government commissioned consultants in March 2011 to conduct a study for the Review and Update of the Railway Development Strategy 2000 with a view to updating the long-term railway development blueprint of Hong Kong in the light of the latest developments of the society. During the study, the consultants have explored the possibility of connecting the Kwun Tong Line to areas such as Anderson Road and Sau Mau Ping. As urban Kowloon is densely built, and areas such as Anderson Road and Sau Mau Ping are located on high grounds, the relevant railway alignment will need to run very deep underground in order to connect with the Kwun Tong Line. This would involve enormous technical difficulties and impose significant fire and safety risks to the railway stations, as well as resulting in difficulties in finding suitable land for the construction of depot and ventilation shafts etc. Upon analysis, the consultants considered that the relevant railway proposal is not technically feasible.

Ends/Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:30


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