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LCQ15: Traffic situation in Kowloon East
     Following is a question by the Hon Wu Chi-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council today (June 7):
     In the past few years, the Government has launched several public housing development projects (including the development of the Anderson Road Quarry site, the public rental housing development at Anderson Road) in Kowloon East, and has rezoned certain sites (including the sites at Wang Chiu Road of Kowloon Bay, Lam Tin and Yau Tong) within the district for housing development one after another.  Some Kowloon East residents have pointed out that with the population in the Tseung Kwan O district continuously growing in recent years, the capacity of the roads in Kowloon East has now reached saturation.  Besides, the major roads (including Kwun Tong Road, Clear Water Bay Road, Lung Cheung Road, Prince Edward Road East) in the district cannot be expanded due to insufficient space.  Such residents are worried that the additional vehicular flows to be generated by the aforesaid development projects will paralyse traffic in the district.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the (i) average vehicle speed, (ii) average traffic throughput, and (iii) annual growth rate of traffic throughput of the following five road sections during peak hours in the past five years: the section of Kwun Tong Road near Kwun Tong Town Centre, the section of Kwun Tong Road connecting Wai Yip Street of Kowloon Bay, the section of Kwun Tong Road connecting Lung Cheung Road, Clear Water Bay Road near Choi Hung Interchange, as well as Clear Water Bay Road bound for Lung Cheung Road and the roundabout at Kwun Tong Town Centre; the respective percentages of the current traffic throughput at these road sections in their design capacities (set out such information in a table);
(2) of the short-term and medium-term measures in place to (i) alleviate the traffic congestion in the road sections mentioned in (1), and (ii) divert the additional vehicular flows to be generated by the new development projects; and
(3) whether it has assessed the cumulative impact of the development projects launched since 2010 and those to be launched within the next few years on the traffic situation of Kowloon East, in particular the road sections mentioned in (1); if so, of the details?


     My reply to the various parts of the Hon Wu Chi-wai's question is as follows:
(1) The average vehicle speed, traffic volume, annual growth rate of traffic volume, and volume to capacity ratio of Kwun Tong Road and Clear Water Bay Road during the morning peak hours from 2011 to 2015 (Note) are at Annexes 1 to 4.  As the Transport Department (TD) only collects data on traffic flow of major roads, traffic data for the roundabout at Kwun Tong Town Centre is not available.
(2) and (3) To ensure that the transport infrastructure could cope with the additional traffic flow brought by new development projects, the Government will require project proponents to conduct traffic impact assessments (TIAs) and put forward mitigation proposals when handling new development projects (especially housing development projects).
     There is no exception to this requirement for the larger-scale development projects in Kowloon East in recent years, including the Anderson Road Public Housing Development, the Anderson Road Quarry Development as well as the Kwun Tung Town Centre Redevelopment Project.  Prior to the commencement of development, the concerned organisations and Government departments have conducted TIAs in respect of the potential traffic impact of the projects in the districts concerned, taking into consideration other developments around the projects, planned road developments and road junction improvement works in the vicinity of the projects, etc.  Details of the traffic improvement measures as recommended in the completed TIAs of these development projects are as follows.

     In the short term, to tie in with the Anderson Road Public Housing Development, the Government has already completed a series of road improvement works to improve the traffic condition at, and near the accesses to, the Anderson Road Development Area.  The works also serve to divert vehicular traffic so as to prevent a concentration of traffic on Clear Water Bay Road and New Clear Water Bay Road.  Relevant measures include widening road junctions (including the junctions of Po Lam Road with Anderson Road, New Clear Water Bay Road with Lee On Road, New Clear Water Bay Road with Anderson Road, and Hip Wo Street with Hong Ning Road) and providing an additional traffic lane on Sau Ming Road northbound.

     In addition, the TD has implemented a number of traffic management measures on Kwun Tong Road, Clear Water Bay Road, New Clear Water Bay Road, Choi Hung Interchange, Po Lam Road and Sau Mau Ping Road to relieve the traffic condition in Kowloon East area.  The measures include adding U-Turn facility, installing traffic directional signs to guide motorists to diversion routes, extending public light bus stands, enhancing road markings, adding yellow boxes, and adjusting traffic signal timing.

     In the medium term, to support the Anderson Road Quarry Development, the Government also proposes a series of road and junction improvement measures, including constructing new flyovers, and widening road sections and junctions.  The Civil Engineering and Development Department plans to seek funding approval from the Legislative Council for the above works within this year.  Subject to the funding approval of the Finance Committee, the works are expected to commence in early 2018 for completion in phases between 2021 and end-2023.

     The Government also proposes the construction of four pedestrian links connecting the Anderson Road Quarry Development area and the neighbouring housing estates, Kwun Tong Town Centre, MTR Kwun Tong Station and the proposed bus-bus interchange at the Tseung Kwan O Tunnel toll plaza.  Based on the alignment of the proposed links, there will be footbridges with lift towers or escalators to attract usage by residents of the public housing estates and private estates located on the hillside so as to reduce their use of public transport services.  The construction works of the aforesaid pedestrian links have commenced progressively since March this year.

     Upon the completion of the Kwun Tung Town Centre Redevelopment Project, most bus stops and minibus stops in the town centre will be relocated to the public transport interchange at Development Areas 2 and 3 of the project.  Moreover, to facilitate vehicles travelling to and from the public transport interchange, the Urban Renewal Authority will widen a road section from Hip Wo Street leading to the public transport interchange within the area of the Redevelopment Project so as to relieve traffic in the vicinity.  The above traffic improvement works are now being carried out and are expected to be completed progressively between 2021 and 2024. 

     In the long run, the Government plans to build Route No. 6 (comprising the Tseung Kwan O – Lam Tin Tunnel, the Central Kowloon Route and the Trunk Road T2) to connect West Kowloon, Kowloon East and Tseung Kwan O areas.  This express trunk road will serve to substantially alleviate and divert traffic for the road networks of Central Kowloon and Kowloon East, thereby mitigating traffic congestion in the districts concerned.  The construction works for Tseung Kwan O – Lam Tin Tunnel have already commenced in 2016 and are expected to be completed in 2021.  Funding approval from the Legislative Council is being sought for the Central Kowloon Route, which is scheduled for completion in 2025.  For Trunk Road T2, detailed design is being carried out and its completion date will tie in with that of Central Kowloon Route as far as possible.

Note: The traffic survey statistics for 2016 are still being processed.
Ends/Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:00
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