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Rising traffic flow could further congest roads
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     The Transport Department (TD) today (November 6) said that, while the occupation movement has been illegally occupying roads, traffic flow at the three harbour crossings and the Aberdeen Tunnel has been returning to normal in the past weeks. The TD urges members of the public to use public transport as far as possible, and to avoid driving if it is not necessary, particularly to areas on Hong Kong Island, to prevent further increases in traffic congestion.

     The TD noted that the traffic flow at the three harbour crossings and the Aberdeen Tunnel decreased by about 10 per cent in the first two weeks after roads became illegally occupied. In the following three weeks, the traffic flow at these tunnels rose gradually, particularly at the Cross Harbour Tunnel and the Eastern Harbour Crossing, and has nearly returned to the level before the illegal occupation of roads.

     The TD is concerned that since roads illegally occupied on Hong Kong Island and in Mong Kok remain closed, traffic will be more seriously congested if the number of vehicles on road returns to the normal level. Motorists are urged again to avoid driving to areas on Hong Kong Island if it is not necessary. They must also abide by traffic regulations and temporary traffic control measures to prevent the already congested traffic going from bad to worse. The TD notes that motorists, for the sake of convenience, are often found making unauthorised U-turns towards Central on Harbour Road (Causeway Bay-bound) outside Shui On Centre in Wan Chai. Such behaviour affects other vehicles travelling along the road and pedestrians walking across the road using pedestrian crossings. The TD reminds motorists not to act in breach of the law and pedestrians to pay attention to road safety.

     Tomorrow is the day before weekend, and traffic is usually more congested. When going out, members of the public should continue to start their journeys early to allow more time for travelling, and pay attention to the latest traffic and public transport information announced by the TD and bus companies to plan their journeys in advance.

     Regarding public transport services, a total of 221 bus routes are still affected today with eight bus routes suspended and 213 bus routes diverted. Among the affected bus routes, 80 routes travelling via Mong Kok are diverted due to the closure of a number of road sections in Mong Kok. A total of 20 green minibus routes travelling via Harcourt Road, Nathan Road and Argyle Street are still diverted or suspended or with service adjusted. Currently, the tram service between Percival Street and Paterson Street is still suspended. The MTR Corporation Limited is continuing to increase services for all urban lines to cope with passenger demand.

     The TD's Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre will continue to monitor the road traffic situation and public transport services. For details of road closure, traffic diversion, suspension and route diversion of green minibus services, please refer to the TD's website (www.td.gov.hk). Regarding temporary traffic arrangements for bus routes, please refer to the following bus companies' websites for details:

     For routes of Citybus and New World First Bus: www.nwstbus.com.hk/en/uploadedFiles/OC2014/TAA.htmí@

     For routes of Kowloon Motor Bus: www.kmb.hk/ení@

     As there will be updates on bus services from time to time due to traffic changes, members of the public are advised to pay attention to the latest service arrangements announced by bus companies before starting their journeys.

Ends/Thursday, November 6, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:33

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