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LCQ11: Bicycle parking spaces

     Following is a question by the Hon James Tien and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council today (June 4):


     It has been reported that more and more people prefer to commute by bicycle, but due to insufficient parking spaces for bicycles, illegal parking of bicycles has become a problem in a number of districts, and the problem is more acute in new towns in the New Territories. In 2010, the Government conducted studies on introducing double-deck bicycle parking racks to replace some of the existing parking facilities and implemented a pilot scheme late last year of providing such parking racks beside the MTR Fanling Station. Yet, some members of the public have relayed that such parking racks are too few in number, and that a cyclist needs more physical strength to load the bicycle onto the upper deck of the parking rack, causing inconvenience to the elderly and children. In addition, some experts have pointed out that such facilities are too costly and not cost-effective. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the respective numbers of public bicycle parking spaces in various District Council (DC) districts in New Territories East at present;

(2) whether it assessed in the past three years the supply and demand situation of parking spaces for bicycles in various DC districts in New Territories East; if it did, of the assessment outcome; if not, the reasons for that;

(3) of the number of abandoned bicycles removed by the authorities from public bicycle parking areas in New Territories East in each quarter of the past three years, with a tabulated breakdown by DC district;

(4) whether it has assessed the actual effectiveness of the aforesaid double-deck bicycle parking racks; if it has, of the assessment outcome; if not, the reason for that; and

(5) whether the authorities, apart from providing double-deck parking racks, have any new initiative to tackle the problem of insufficient parking spaces for bicycles; if they have, of the details; if not, the reason for that?



     My reply to the various parts of the Hon James Tien's question is as follows:

(1) The number of public bicycle parking spaces currently available in various District Council (DC) districts of New Territories East (NTE) is detailed at Annex 1.

(2) Under the Traffic and Transport Consultancy Study on Cycling Networks and Parking Facilities in Existing New Towns in Hong Kong (the Study), which was completed in March 2013, the Transport Department (TD)'s consultant had looked into the supply and demand situation in certain new towns (including Sha Tin/Ma On Shan, Tai Po, Fanling/Sheung Shui and Tseung Kwan O of NTE). The Study recommended some improvement measures, such as providing more traditional parking spaces and testing new designs of parking facilities (such as "1-up-1-down parking rack" and "angled parking rack") at selected locations, so that more bicycles can be parked.

     Subsequently, the TD has commissioned another feasibility study to further examine the supply and demand situation of parking spaces and the locations requiring improvement in nine new towns (i.e. Sha Tin/Ma On Shan, Tai Po, Fanling/Sheung Shui, Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan, Tung Chung and Tseung Kwan O).  Appropriate improvement proposals, including the provision of additional bicycle parking spaces, will be formulated for each location.  The entire study is expected to be completed before end-2016. The TD will then follow up as appropriate having regard to the findings of the study.

(3) Relevant Government departments (including the TD, Lands Department, Hong Kong Police Force and Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, etc.) take enforcement actions under their respective purviews to clear illegally parked bicycles (i.e. bicycles parked at bicycle parking spaces for more than 24 hours). We do not have a breakdown on whether the removed bicycles are abandoned bicycles or not. The number of illegally parked bicycles removed by the Government from public bicycle parking spaces in NTE in the past three years is set out in Annex 2. The Government does not have the quarterly breakdown of the above figures.

(4) Since the double-deck bicycle parking rack adjacent to the MTR Fanling Station commissioned on a trial basis in October 2013, the TD has monitored and assessed the utilisation rate and utilisation situation of the facility. The TD notes that the utilisation rate has been very high and the operation has been generally smooth, indicating favourable results. In view of the positive results of the Fanling Station trial scheme, the TD is exploring feasible options regarding the operation of the upper parking deck, so that similar facilities installed in future could be more user-friendly. The TD also plans to install double-deck parking racks on a larger scale next to the MTR Sheung Shui Station (i.e. underneath the San Wan Road footbridge), which is expected to be opened for public use in the first half of 2015.   

(5) The Government has been closely monitoring the supply and demand situation of bicycle parking spaces, and has been identifying suitable and feasible locations to provide additional public bicycle parking spaces through various consultation channels, including collating comments from various DCs and the community.

     To further increase the number of bicycle parking spaces, the TD is testing other new designs of parking racks, such as the "angled parking rack" and "1-up-1-down parking rack" tested under the Tai Po Pilot Scheme, which are designed to provide more parking spaces within a limited space. The TD will complete the assessment of the effectiveness of these two parking rack designs in the second half of 2014, and will then decide whether these two new rack designs can be extended to other districts.

Ends/Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:26


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