Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ13: Extension of cycle track network

     Following is a question by the Hon Yiu Si-wing and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council today (October 9):


     I have learnt that as cycling tourism is recognised as an environment-friendly and healthy sport, quite a number of countries are actively planning and developing cycle track facilities. The Civil Engineering and Development Department is developing by phases the cycle track network in the New Territories (NT) according to the pledge in the Policy Agenda for 2007-2008. Works relating to the sections from Sheung Shui to Ma On Shan and from Tuen Mun to Sheung Shui are expected to be completed by the end of 2013 and 2016 respectively. By then, there will be a cycle track network with a total length of 82 kilometres in NT. On the other hand, the Government is gradually reducing the coverage of the Frontier Closed Area (FCA) in NT. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has any plan to extend the cycle track network to areas which are no longer within FCA; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether it has any plan to incorporate the development of cycle tracks into the relevant planning when developing the harbourfront areas; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(c) whether it has formulated new measures to manage cycle tracks to tie in with the continuous expansion and development of cycle tracks; whether it will, with reference to overseas experience, set up a public bicycle hiring system and promote cycling tourism; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(d) whether it has formulated publicity plans to promote cycling tourism; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?


     The Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) is developing in phases a 104-kilometres (km) cycle track network in the New Territories for recreational purpose. The proposed network comprises a backbone section of approximately 82 km running from Ma On Shan to Tsuen Wan via Shatin, Tai Po, Fanling, Sheung Shui, Yuen Long and Tuen Mun, plus a few branch-off sections measuring about 22 km altogether. According to the CEDD, construction of the section between Ma On Shan and Sheung Shui is underway and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. As regards the section from Tuen Mun to Sheung Shui, the first phase of works will commence in end-2013 for completion in end-2016. The remaining sections are in preliminary or detailed design stage.

     My reply to the various parts of Hon Yiu Si-wing's question is as follows:

(a) and (b) According to the Development Bureau, the "Study on Land Use Planning for the Closed Area" completed by the Planning Department in 2010 has preliminarily proposed that two cycle track sections be built, one in the east and another in the west of the Study Area (see attached Annex). The western section connects with the major cycle track network along Castle Peak Road in the New Territories, while the eastern section links up the cycle track network in the future Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling New Development Area via Lin Ma Hang Road. The feasibility of this proposal is yet to be examined, such as connection with existing/proposed cycle track networks and other road improvement plans. There is no concrete plan at the moment.

     When planning the development of harbourfront areas, the Government will carefully consider the feasibility of constructing cycle track. Where circumstances allow, the Government will provide cycle track and related facilities for the public to use bicycles for recreational or short-distance travelling purposes. Factors to be taken into consideration include compatibility with overall development of the districts and adjacent land uses, ancillary facilities, geographical environment, road safety, traffic management arrangements and public views.

(c) Currently, cycle tracks are managed by relevant departments according to their respective enforcement powers and functions. For example, traffic management for cycle tracks along public roads is taken care of by the Transport Department (TD), maintenance by the Highways Department and enforcement by the Police. Moreover, the Road Safety Council, the Police and the TD promote public awareness of cycling safety through publicity and education with a view to minimising bicycle-related accidents.

     In 2010, the TD commissioned a consultancy study entitled "Traffic and Transport Consultancy Study on Cycling Networks and Parking Facilities in Existing New Towns in Hong Kong". Among other things, overseas experience was drawn to examine the feasibility of developing a public bicycle rental system in new towns. Conclusions of the study are as follows:

(i) A public bicycle rental system needs to provide rental service at numerous locations to facilitate rental, return and change of bicycles by locals and tourists. Only then would the system attract patronage.

(ii) A public bicycle rental system requires frequent transfer of bicycles to balance the number of bicycles available for rent at different public rental points. Bicycle maintenance and the provision of backup bicycles are also required to replace those to be repaired or stolen. The operational costs would be relatively higher.

(iii) The existing private rental services can already meet the current market demand, and so there is no need for a public rental system.

     The land in Hong Kong is so limited that the requirement to provide public rental points at numerous locations is difficult to fulfill. We are also mindful that there is an increasing public demand for bicycle parking spaces. Given the increasing popularity of cycling, the Transport and Housing Bureau will explore ways to improve and enhance the existing "cycling-friendly" policy and measures.

(d) The Tourism Commission partners with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) in promoting nature-based green tourism activities via the HKTB's marketing platform "Great Outdoors Hong Kong!". The HKTB introduces through different channels, such as websites, guide books, smartphone apps and visitor centres, the various green sightseeing spots, as well as green tourism activities that are free of charge or organised by the industry. Such activities include "Hong Kong Biking Tour", a cycling tour for visitors to see migratory birds and characteristic walled villages in North West New Territories and to enjoy dim sum meals in Yuen Long. The HKTB will also introduce guided cycling tours for visitors through "Great Outdoors Hong Kong!".

     At present, cycling tourism is not popular among inbound visitors. It is more appealing to long-haul markets, including nature lovers from North America, Europe and Australia. However, the HKTB will continue to promote selected cycling tour routes via the "Great Outdoors Hong Kong!" platform. The HKTB believes that upon the full completion of the aforementioned works by the CEDD in connecting the cycle tracks in North West and North East New Territories, the overall cycling experience enjoyed by members of the public will be enhanced, thereby bringing positive impact to the promotion of cycling tourism.

Ends/Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:00


Print this page