TAC briefed on parking policy and Tate's Cairn Tunnel takeover arrangements
Members of the Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) were briefed today (May 25) on the Government's policy on provision of parking spaces and the arrangements to take over the Tate's Cairn Tunnel (TCT) on July 11, 2018, upon the expiry of its build-operate-transfer (BOT) franchise.
The TAC Chairman, Mr Larry Kwok, said, "Members noted the Government's current arrangements for providing parking spaces, and the analyses on the number of vehicles and present situation of parking spaces. Members agreed that there is indeed a shortage of parking spaces for commercial vehicles, and noted the decreasing ratio of private car parking spaces to such vehicles.
"Members concurred with the Government's policy in the provision of parking spaces of according priority to considering and meeting the parking demand of commercial vehicles. Members were also pleased to note that the Government will take forward measures to mitigate the shortage of parking spaces. With respect to private car parking spaces, Members agreed that a three-pronged approach should be adopted to alleviate the shortage of parking spaces, including controlling private car fleet growth, increasing the number of parking spaces as appropriate and encouraging private car drivers to change their travel pattern. On controlling private car fleet growth, I urge the Government to take forward the recommendations of the TAC as soon as practicable, such as fiscal measures of increasing the first registration tax and annual licence fee for private cars."
Regarding the takeover arrangement of TCT, Mr Kwok said that Members noted the Government's takeover of the TCT will bring no major change to the actual tunnel operation.
"We understand that the prevailing toll levels as well as road traffic regulations in terms of traffic signs and restrictions, etc, will not be affected. In other words, from a tunnel user's point of view, there will be no major difference before and after the Government’s takeover of TCT," he said.
"Members noted that due to the geographical locations of the three road harbour crossings (RHCs) (namely Cross Harbour Tunnel, Eastern Harbour Crossing and Western Harbour Crossing) and the three land tunnels between Kowloon and Sha Tin (namely TCT, Lion Rock Tunnel, and the Eagle's Nest Tunnel and Sha Tin Heights Tunnel), there is a natural pairing effect on the use of the three RHCs and the three land tunnels, and that the Government would review the toll level of TCT in the overall context of the study on the rationalisation of traffic distribution among the six tunnels. Members concurred with the Government’s approach in formulating toll adjustment proposals for rationalising the traffic distribution among the six tunnels in a holistic manner," said Mr Kwok. The Government has already undertaken to submit toll adjustment proposals for discussion at the Legislative Council Panel on Transport within the 2017-18 legislative year.
Regarding the management mode of TCT after the takeover, the Government will grant a management, operation and maintenance (MOM) contract through open tender. To ensure the seamless transition of the TCT, the MOM contract, expected to be granted by end of this year, will require the contractor to make first offer of employment to the existing frontline and technical employees of the tunnel franchisee.
Ends/Thursday, May 25, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:35
Issued at HKT 17:35