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LCQ17: Cross-boundary transport arrangements

     Following is a question by the Hon Wong Kwok-hing and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council today (January 28):


     Given the expected completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) in late 2017, the public are increasingly concerned about the regulatory arrangements for cross-boundary vehicles.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the number of registration of, as well as the average daily and full-year numbers of crossings made by, each type of cross-boundary vehicles (i.e. cross-boundary coaches, cross-boundary hire cars, Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars, mainland official/enterprise vehicles, vehicles of the Hong Kong Government and cross-boundary goods vehicles) which were given approval for regular quotas (commonly known as "cross-boundary vehicle licences"), in each of the past three years;

(2) of the respective monthly numbers of applications received and quotas approved under the Ad Hoc Quota Trial Scheme for Cross Boundary Private Cars since implementation of the Scheme in 2012, as well as the monthly quotas actually utilized by the applicants and their percentages in the total quotas approved; whether the authorities have plans to review the effectiveness of the Scheme; if so, of the review timetable;

(3) whether the authorities have drawn up the details of the regulatory arrangements for using HZMB by cross-boundary vehicles, and whether such arrangements will follow the recommendations made in the consultancy study reported in 2009 to the Panel on Transport of this Council, i.e. the existing regulatory arrangements for cross-boundary coaches/hire cars/goods vehicles be maintained, and the existing quota system for private cars be relaxed through managed control; if so, of the details, including whether the regular quotas for cross-boundary vehicles and ad hoc quotas for cross-boundary private cars will be increased, and whether the eligibility criteria for applying for these two types of quotas will be relaxed;

(4) given that the supplementary information on the total traffic projections per day for HZMB submitted by the Government to the Public Works Subcommittee of this Council on May 21, 2008 indicated that the total traffic volumes per day of HZMB would be 9 200, 15 350, 27 400 and 35 700 in 2016, 2020, 2030 and 2035 respectively, and such projections were based on the assumption that the existing quota system for cross-boundary private cars would remain unchanged, of the respective estimated percentages of the aforesaid traffic projections in the design capacity of HZMB per day; and

(5) whether the Government will set a minimum traffic volume target for HZMB; if it will, whether it will relax the quotas for cross-boundary vehicles in order to achieve such a target; if it will relax the quotas, of the additional quotas?



     My reply to the Hon Wong Kwok-hing's question is as follows:

(1)  The governments of Guangdong and Hong Kong have been jointly implementing and administering a quota system covering all cross-boundary vehicles (excluding goods vehicles and Lok Ma Chau-Huanggang cross-boundary shuttle buses) to regulate and control cross-boundary traffic since 1982.

     The numbers of cross-boundary vehicles travelling between Guangdong and Hong Kong under regular quotas and with closed road permits issued by the Transport Department in the past three years are as follows:

Types of Vehicles    2012       2013       2014
                     As at December 31 of the year
coaches              1 117      1 110      1 116
hire cars            347        348        346
Hong Kong
private cars         25 544     26 610     27 365
Mainland official
 / enterprise
vehicles             2 093      2 264      2 550
Hong Kong
vehicles             32         31         26

     The respective numbers of cross-boundary goods vehicles holding closed road permits issued by the Transport Department were 14 362, 13 928 and 13 552 in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

     When the Government collects the entry and exit records of cross-boundary vehicles, such statistical information is grouped into three types of vehicles, namely cross-boundary coaches, cross-boundary goods vehicles and cross-boundary private cars (including cross-boundary hire cars, Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars, Mainland official/enterprise vehicles and Hong Kong private cars holding ad hoc quotas), with no further breakdown.  According to the information provided by the Immigration Department and the Customs and Excise Department, the numbers of cross-boundary trips made by cross-boundary vehicles per day and per annum in the past three years are as follows:

               Cross-boundary   2012    2013    2014
               (in thousands)

Cross-boundary Daily average    3.5     3.7     3.8
coaches        Annual Total     1 277   1 343   1 396      

Cross-boundary Daily average    21.0    20.7    19.8
goods vehicles Annaul Total     7 671   7 560   7 224

Cross-boundary Daily average    18.0    18.2    18.0
private cars   Annual Total     6 584   6 641   6 588

(2) The Ad Hoc Quota Trial Scheme for Cross Boundary Private Cars (the Trial Scheme) has been in smooth operation generally since the implementation of the first phase in late March 2012.  As at the end of December 2014, the Transport Department has received applications for 4 682 ad hoc quotas and issued 4 337 quotas.  Of which, 3 638 quotas have been used, accounting for about 84 per cent of the quotas granted during the same period.  The monthly figures of quota applications, quotas granted, quotas used in the month and their percentages of quotas granted are listed in the Annex.

     We have been closely monitoring the implementation of the first phase of the Trial Scheme (i.e. Hong Kong private cars entering the Mainland) and maintaining close contact with the relevant departments of the Guangdong Province and their designated agencies in Hong Kong, i.e. the China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Limited and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, to refine and improve the work procedures and information system so as to enhance work efficiency and service quality.  The two governments have said publicly that the second phase of the Trial Scheme (i.e. Guangdong private cars entering Hong Kong) would be implemented at an appropriate time, with no specific timetable.  The arrangements for the Mainland private cars to enter Hong Kong are also subject to further deliberations by experts from both sides.  In formulating the arrangements for the second phase, we will listen to the views from different sectors of the community and garner support from the Legislative Council before rolling out the scheme.

(3) To tie in with the commissioning of HZMB, the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region have set up the Co-ordination Group on Cross-boundary Matters.  The Co-ordination Group is now actively pressing ahead with relevant policy studies and discussing relevant cross-boundary transport arrangements.  The scopes of policy studies and discussions cover regulation and quota system of cross-boundary vehicles, toll level for cross-boundary vehicles, traffic management, operation and maintenance, rescue and emergency plan, enforcement coordination, customs clearance facilitation, etc.  Since the studies concerned and the discussions among the three governments are still in progress, we are unable to provide details of the cross-boundary transport arrangements at this stage.

     We will, having regard to the functions and characteristics of HZMB, put in place relevant traffic arrangements that would complement the local road system to bring the economic and transportation benefits of HZMB into full play.

(4)  According to the Feasibility Study of the HZMB conducted by a consultant engaged by the governments of the three sides, it was estimated that the traffic flow in 2035 would be 35 700 to 49 200 vehicles per day, and the concerned volume/capacity ratio (peak hour flow) is about 0.51 to 0.86.

(5)  The HKSAR Government has no plan to set a minimum traffic volume target for the HZMB.  Regarding the arrangements of granting quotas to cross-boundary vehicles, as mentioned in part (3) above, the three governments are still actively pressing ahead with studies and discussions on the relevant policies and have not yet finalised the arrangements.

Ends/Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:11


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