2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (9)
Roads and Bridges
146. For the long-term development of Northwest New Territories, and to enhance the road network connecting to the airport and cope with the long-term development of Lantau, we will commence a feasibility study on Route 11 as soon as possible.
147. The Government will construct the Central Kowloon Route, which will link Yau Ma Tei with Kowloon Bay and the Kai Tak Development Area. Upon commissioning, the journey time between West Kowloon and Kowloon Bay will be reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes during rush hours.
148. Spanning Lingdingyang, the HZMB will be the longest bridge-cum-tunnel sea crossing in the world. It will provide a direct land link between Hong Kong and the west coast of the Pearl River Delta, and bring significant impact on the development of the logistics, commerce, trade, tourism and other industries. We are pressing ahead with the works of the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities and the Hong Kong Link Road which will connect with the HZMB, as well as the discussion with the Mainland and Macao authorities on various cross-boundary transport arrangements, so as to dovetail with the commissioning of the whole bridge.
149. Other large-scale road projects, such as the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link, the Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link, the Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin Tunnel, the widening of Fanling Highway and the Hiram's Highway improvement works, are being taken forward at full speed.
Strategic Studies beyond 2030
150. The Government will take forward strategic studies on railways and major roads beyond 2030 based on "Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030", so that the planning of major transport infrastructure can support the long-term land use strategy of Hong Kong.
151. Connecting with the national high-speed rail network, the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will greatly shorten the travelling time between Hong Kong and major cities in the Mainland, and consolidate Hong Kong's position as a regional transport hub. The project will generate enormous economic and social benefits. We will continue to oversee the works and take forward various preparations with a view to accomplishing the targeted commissioning of service in the third quarter of next year.
152. The Government will continue to develop a passenger transport system centred on public transport with railway as the backbone. We will take forward detailed planning work for the Northern Link (and Kwu Tung Station), the Tuen Mun South Extension and the East Kowloon Line as the first batch, pursuant to the indicative implementation window recommended in the Railway Development Strategy 2014. We will then commence the detailed planning work progressively for the other projects.
153. The Government is conducting a review with the MTRCL on the Fare Adjustment Mechanism to see how its operation can better respond to, among others, public concern about fares, the MTRCL's profitability and the public's affordability, while respecting the financial prudence required of the MTRCL as a listed company, on the premise that a transparent mechanism based on open and objective data and a direct-drive formula will be retained. The review is expected to be completed in the first half of this year, after which the fares will be adjusted according to the new mechanism.
Other Public Transport Services
Public Transport Strategy Study
154. The Government will release a report in the middle of this year on the Public Transport Strategy Study which examines the positioning of public transport services other than railway. The aim is to enhance the existing strategic arrangements of our public transport services in tandem with the further development of the heavy rail network to ensure the long-term, balanced, efficient, multi-model and sustainable development of public transport services. We have completed the priority study on public light bus service and recommended increasing the maximum seating capacity of public light buses. We will also explore ways to enhance personalised and point-to-point transport services to meet the needs of different passenger groups. Moreover, the Government has completed all the eight specified Topical Studies over the past two years. These include the service level of franchised bus, school bus service, seating capacity of public light buses, supply of taxis, taxi fuel surcharge, statutory cap on the number of public light buses, review of ferry service, and accessible public transport services for people with disabilities.
Trial Scheme for Low-floor Light Buses
155. To improve accessibility for wheelchair users, it is expected that green minibus operators will introduce low-floor light buses for trials on some hospital routes in the second half of this year.
156. In order to reduce the traffic impact caused by tram track replacement works and to provide more comfortable service for passengers, the Government will subsidise, on a matching basis, the replacement of about 2.4 kilometres of tram tracks with the use of new technology.
Ferry Services for Outlying Islands
157. The Government will continue to provide Special Helping Measures (SHM) for the six major outlying island ferry routes. Separately, we will, in the first half of 2019, examine in the mid-term review of the next three-year licence period (2017-20) whether the SHM are the most desirable long-term operation model to maintain the financial viability of ferry services. The review will cover, inter alia, extension of licence duration and a study of the pros and cons of possible options such as letting the Government own the ferry fleet and outsource its operation. The objective is to ensure enhanced service quality, financial viability and reasonable fare level of ferry services.
Improving Ancillary Facilities for Public Transport
158. The Government will improve a number of remote public piers to facilitate public access to outing destinations and natural heritage. The first phase will cover about 10 public piers in the New Territories and the Islands District.
Fostering a Pedestrian and Bicycle-friendly Environment
159. Under the Universal Accessibility Programme, the Government has completed more than 40 projects to install barrier-free access facilities at public walkways, and will continue to implement some 160 remaining projects.
160. Walking is an integral part of Hong Kong as a sustainable city. The Government will encourage people to walk more and rely less on motorised transport. We will consolidate past efforts to foster a pedestrian-friendly environment and promote "Walk in HK". The Transport and Housing Bureau will implement new measures along four themes:
(i) "Make it smart" by providing user-friendly information on walking routes;
(ii) "Make it connected" by enhancing pedestrian networks;
(iii) "Make it enjoyable" by making walking a pleasant experience; and
(iv) "Make it safe" by providing a safe and quality pedestrian environment.
161. We will select two areas for pilot study to test innovative measures for a comfortable walking environment, and to explore relaxing the requirements for adding covers to public walkways as stipulated in the Transport Planning and Design Manual, etc. We will work with stakeholders such as the MTRCL to promote "Walk in HK". We will continue to implement hillside escalator links and elevator systems (HEL) projects. We will conduct a study at the end of this year to review and improve the assessment mechanism established by the Government in 2009, and on this basis carry out screening, traffic assessments and preliminary technical feasibility assessments for the HEL proposals received in the past years so as to draw up a timetable for implementing HEL proposals in future.
162. To foster a green community, we will continue to create a "bicycle-friendly" environment in new towns and NDAs. Measures will include providing comprehensive cycle track networks in NDAs under planning, including Hung Shui Kiu and Yuen Long South, to facilitate commuting by bicycles within the districts, as well as extending the cycle track network within the open spaces of the Kai Tak Development Area (KTDA) to about 13 kilometres to link up major attractions. We will also explore the option of extending the network at the KTDA to the Mass Transit Railway station of the Shatin to Central Link under construction. Besides, we are linking up the existing scattered sections of cycle tracks in the New Territories to provide a cycle track of about 82 kilometres connecting the eastern and western New Territories. We will also study how to assist organisations in operating self-financing community bicycle rental services on a non-profit making basis for providing first and last mile short-distance connection.
Alleviating Road Traffic Congestion
163. Road traffic congestion is getting worse and affecting our economy, our environment and the public's quality of life. To tackle road traffic congestion, we have adopted a multi-pronged approach, and are taking forward progressively the short, medium and long-term measures recommended by the Transport Advisory Committee earlier. Those recommendations include carrying out an in-depth feasibility study on an Electronic Road Pricing Pilot Scheme in Central and its adjacent areas, commencing a parking space policy review to accord priority to meeting the parking needs of commercial vehicles, exploring measures to control vehicle growth, and conducting a study on the overall strategy for the rationalisation of traffic distribution among the three road harbour crossings to formulate toll adjustment options for timely discussion in the LegCo. To combat illegal parking, apart from the Police's continued effort to strengthen enforcement actions against congestion-related traffic offences, we plan to introduce into the LegCo, during the first quarter of this year, legislative amendments to raise the fixed penalty charges for congestion-related traffic offences.
(To be continued)
Ends/Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:24
Issued at HKT 12:24
2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (1) (with photos/video) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (2) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (3) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (4) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (5) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (6) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (7) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (8) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (10) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (11) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (12) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (13) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (14) 2017 Policy Address by Chief Executive (15)