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LCQ8: Bicycle parking spaces
     Following is a question by the Hon Yung Hoi-yan and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, in the Legislative Council today (July 12):


     The Government indicated in the 2017 Policy Address that it would continue to create a bicycle-friendly environment in new towns and new development areas to foster a green community.  However, some residents in New Territories East have relayed that there is currently a shortfall of public bicycle parking spaces in the district and some parking spaces have been occupied by abandoned bicycles for a long period of time, causing a serious problem of illegal parking of bicycles.  In addition, quite a number of members of the public have pointed out that the support facilities for bicycles in various districts are inadequate at present, making it difficult for them to use bicycles as a mode of transport for first mile or last mile connection for their journeys.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the current number of public bicycle parking spaces across the territory (with a breakdown by District Council (DC) district); whether it has plans to provide additional bicycle parking spaces in the coming three years; if so, of the details and the timetable; if not, the reasons for that;

(2) of the number of operations mounted by the Government in each of the past three years to clear illegally parked bicycles, as well as the number of bicycles seized in the operations (with a breakdown by DC district);

(3) as the authorities may invoke section 6 (unlawful occupation of unleased land) of the Land (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 28) to post a notice on bicycles parked on unleased government land requiring the bicycle owners to cease the occupation of the land, and to confiscate, on expiry of a deadline, the illegally parked bicycles which have not been removed, whether they have reviewed the effectiveness of such way of handling the problem of illegal parking of bicycles (including whether it has a deterrent effect); if so, of the outcome and how the authorities deal with the bicycles confiscated in the operations; if not, whether they will conduct such a review; 

(4) as the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) is conducting an investigation for the pilot scheme of provision of underground bicycle parking system, of the progress and the completion date of the investigation; whether other measures are in place to apply innovative technologies to provide additional public bicycle parking facilities; and
(5) whether it will review the planning standards for the provision of bicycle parking facilities in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) based on the populations, the provision of cycle tracks and the prevalence of bicycles in various districts; if so, of the relevant details and implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that?



     The Government's policy is to foster a "bicycle-friendly" environment where road safety permits and practicable, especially in new towns and new development areas, so as to promote cycling as a green mode for short-distance commuting to make "first mile" and "last mile" connections to public transport services, thereby minimising the need for mechanised transport.

     Under the "bicycle-friendly" policy, various bureaux and departments are pursuing supporting measures within their respective purviews.  For example, the Development Bureau carries out comprehensive planning on cycle track networks in new development areas, and takes forward the works projects for cycle track networks in the New Territories.  The Transport and Housing Bureau has been actively promoting cycling for short-distance commuting in new towns.  Apart from developing cycle track networks, the Government has been striving to improve ancillary facilities for cycling in recent years.  My reply to various parts of the Hon Yung Hoi-yan's question is as follows:
(1) As of December 2016, there are some 57 700 public bicycle parking spaces across the territory, including about 37 000 parking spaces managed by the Transport Department (TD) and the remainder provided by the Housing Department, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD).  A breakdown of parking spaces by District Council districts is at the Annex 1.

     Based on a consultancy study, the TD recommended adding about 7 000 bicycle parking spaces in 290 locations across nine new towns, of which around 1 000 are expected to be completed progressively by 2018.  For the remaining parking spaces, given the complexity of their design and construction procedures, the TD is commissioning the Highways Department to undertake works for the project, including planning, design and construction.  The implementation schedule has yet to be confirmed.  A breakdown of the proposed parking spaces is at Annex 2.

(2) The number of clearance operations conducted by the Government for illegally-parked bicycles and the number of bicycles confiscated during those operations over the past three years by District Council districts are at Annex 3.

(3) At present, relevant departments, including the District Offices, the District Lands Offices (DLOs), TD, Hong Kong Police Force and FEHD, conduct joint clearance operations for illegally parked bicycles from time to time having regard to the actual situation.  If illegally parked bicycles are found during such operations to be unlawfully occupying unleased government land, officers of concerned DLOs will exercise the powers under the Land (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 28) (the Ordinance) to post notices on illegally parked bicycles, requiring the persons concerned to cease occupying the government land before specified dates.  Otherwise, the concerned DLOs will take possession of and remove the illegally parked bicycles according to the law.  Under the Ordinance, any property being taken possession of shall become the property of the Government free from the rights of any person.  Hence, DLOs will not make any arrangements to return the property that has been taken possession to the persons concerned.  As such joint clearance operations have a deterrent effect against illegal parking of bicycles, the departments concerned will continue to clear such bicycles having regard to actual circumstances, the Government has no intention at this juncture to change the current practice.

(4) The Civil Engineering and Development Department is undertaking a pilot study on underground bicycle parking system.  Preliminary results of the study are expected at the end of this year.  Meanwhile, the TD has already updated the Transport Planning and Design Manual (TPDM) by including new bicycle rack designs such as "double-deck parking system" and "1-up-1-down parking rack" as standard designs, apart from that of conventional bicycle parking spaces.  The TD will have regard to the circumstances of individual districts in considering the installation of these new parking racks at suitable locations so as to provide more bicycle parking spaces. 

(5) The prevailing Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) has prescribed the provision of ancillary facilities for bicycles in new development projects.  In principle, bicycle parking facilities should be provided in areas with cycle tracks which are constructed for short-distance commuting by residents to various places within the districts.  Generally speaking, bicycle parking facilities should be located at main residential developments, activity nodes, markets, public transport interchanges, railway stations, and Government, Institutions and Community facilities.  The TD will make reference to the HKPSG and recommend the appropriate number of bicycle parking spaces taking into account the actual needs of the districts.  For districts with high demand, the TD will recommend a level of provision higher than that specified in the HKPSG.  For instance, individual residential developments in Pak Shek Kok and Ma On Shan have adopted the standard of one bicycle parking space for every ten flats, which is higher than the one bicycle parking space for every 15 to 30 flats laid down in the HKPSG.  The TD will have regard to the actual circumstances of individual districts and continue to exercise flexibly in meeting the demands for more bicycle parking spaces.
Ends/Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:00
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