Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ2: Transport arrangements for cross-boundary students

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Che-cheung and a reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, in the Legislative Council today (March 27):


     Some school principals and parents of students in New Territories West have relayed to me that, at present, after entering Hong Kong via the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point, cross-boundary students may take local school buses with Closed Road Permits (CRPs) to attend school, but the authorities have not issued CRPs to local school buses for entering the Shenzhen Bay Control Point. At present, quite a number of mainland students attend school in New Territories West after entering Hong Kong via the Shenzhen Bay Control Point every day, and after entering the territory, they can only wait to take the cross-boundary school coaches (CBSCs) departing from the Mainland to attend school. As a result, these students need to spend more time travelling to school, and the fares of CBSCs are also higher than those of local school buses. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective numbers of students crossing the boundary every day to attend kindergarten, primary school and secondary school in Hong Kong in the past school year, with a breakdown, by the control point they went through, of such numbers and the number of Closed Area Permits issued to them;

(b) of the details of the services provided by CBSCs that go through the Shenzhen Bay Control Point at present (including their routes and the daily number of trips made); whether it has assessed if such services are adequate; if it has, of the outcome; and

(c) whether the Government will consider adopting the same arrangement as that in the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point by issuing CRPs to local school buses for entering the Shenzhen Bay Control Point to take cross-boundary students to school, thus reducing the number of CBSCs waiting on the Mainland to cross the boundary, and providing an additional choice for parents of students; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     Cross-boundary students (CBS) commuting from the Mainland to attend schools in Hong Kong are using the six land boundary control points (BCP). Generally speaking, CBS of older age choose to travel to schools by public transport after entering Hong Kong, while those of tender age are more likely to travel by local school buses or cross-boundary school coaches. At present, some local school buses are allowed to access the two BCPs at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line and Lo Wu to take CBS to schools. As regards cross-boundary school coaches, they are only allowed to access the four specified BCPs at Shenzhen Bay, Lok Ma Chau (Huanggang), Man Kam To and Sha Tau Kok with special quotas issued by both the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Mainland authorities.

     Our reply to the Member's question is as follows:

(a) The number of CBS attending kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools in Hong Kong via various BCPs and the number of Closed Area Permits for students (CAPs) issued in the 2011/12 school year are set out at Annex for members' perusal.

(b) Every year, the Government conducts a service demand survey collecting data from schools within districts served by cross-boundary school coaches, the outcome of which will be used to project the demand for special quotas for cross-boundary school coach services for the coming year. We will then work out with the Mainland authorities an appropriate number of quotas as well as the relevant arrangements.

     A total of 110 special quotas for cross-boundary school coach services were approved in the 2012/13 school year, of which 77 (70%) were for the Shenzhen Bay Control Point, representing a 79% increase over the 43 quotas approved in the previous year. Two additional north-bound trips were also approved to cater for the needs of students with different school dismissal hours. Currently, the cross-boundary school coaches that cross the boundary via the Shenzhen Bay BCP are all serving CBSs attending schools in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long.

     The Government will strive to provide CBS with efficient transport services by co-ordinating the demand for cross-boundary school coach services and reviewing the relevant arrangements annually.

(c) Notwithstanding the difficulties in materialising the proposal of allowing local school buses to pick up CBSs at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point, the Government is open to this proposal. The original design of the coach loading and unloading facilities at the Shenzhen Bay BCP is for the use of cross-boundary vehicles only. All cross-boundary coaches must proceed to cross the boundary and are not allowed to return to Hong Kong after dropping off passengers at lay-by areas. With the ever-increasing number of cross-boundary visitors taking public transport, the public transport interchange (PTI) at the Shenzhen Bay BCP is reaching its full capacity. It will therefore be difficult to identify lay-by areas at the said PTI for the local school buses' use. Having said that, the government departments concerned will carefully examine all relevant factors including the actual operational conditions of the control point, overall needs of cross-boundary visitors, and clearance procedures/transportation arrangements of the Shenzhen Bay BCP. We will also need to discuss the issues with the Shenzhen authorities so that a practical assessment of the feasibility of the said proposal could be made.

Ends/Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:49


Print this page