TAC briefed on EHC takeover arrangements

     The following is issued on behalf of the Transport Advisory Committee:

     Members of the Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) were briefed today (October 27) on the Government's arrangements to take over the Eastern Harbour Crossing (EHC) upon the expiry of its Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) franchise on August 7 next year and traffic management measures for narrow roads.

     The TAC Chairman, Mr Larry Kwok, said Members noted the Government's takeover of the EHC will bring no changes to the actual tunnel operation.

     "We understand that the prevailing toll and fee levels as well as road traffic regulations in terms of traffic signs will not be affected. In other words, from a tunnel user's point of view, there will be no difference before and after the Government's takeover of the EHC. We also note the Government will continue its study on the rationalisation of traffic for the three road harbour crossings as it had undertaken earlier," he said.

     Members learned that the Government is preparing an amendment bill to subsume the EHC under the legal framework for government tunnels and repeal the existing legislation which provides the legal backing for the EHC's operation as a BOT tunnel. Regarding the management mode of the EHC after the takeover, the Government will grant a management, operation and maintenance (MOM) contract through open tender. To ensure a seamless transition of the EHC, the MOM contract, expected to be granted in early 2016, requires the contractor to make the first offer of employment to most of the existing employees of the EHC franchisee at the existing salary levels.

     Also at the meeting, the Government informed the TAC Members that the minimum road widths of various road types in Hong Kong have been under review and increased over time. Traffic management measures such as erecting warning signs, imposing vehicle restrictions and providing passing places have also been put in place to enhance road safety on narrow roads.

     "From the traffic accident statistics of some commonly known narrow road sections, we note that the road safety conditions of these roads are generally acceptable. We understand that the Transport Department will continue to closely monitor the traffic conditions and accident statistics of all roads, including narrow roads, and will consider various engineering and traffic management measures when necessary," said Mr Kwok.

Ends/Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:32