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LCQ17: Parking spaces
     Following is a question by the Hon Jimmy Ng and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, in the Legislative Council today (November 22):


     As indicated in a paper submitted to this Council by the Government, during the period from 2006 to 2016, the total number of registered vehicles across the territory increased by 35 per cent while the total number of parking spaces increased merely by 9.5 per cent. On the other hand, the Government has closed down one after another several multistorey car parks in urban areas as well as lowered the standards of provision of parking spaces for public and private housing in recent years, thereby aggravating the shortage of parking spaces and causing inconvenience to motorists. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the projected numbers, in the coming five years, of (i) new parking spaces which will be provided by the Government and private developers and (ii) private car parking spaces among them (with a tabulated breakdown by District Council district);

(2) of the projected numbers, in the coming five years, of (i) public multistorey car parks which will be completed and commissioned, and parking spaces which will be provided therein, and (ii) government sites to be let by way of short-term tenancies for use as temporary car parks; the respective locations of such sites and the numbers of parking spaces to be provided therein;

(3) given the acute shortage of parking spaces, whether the Government will expeditiously revise the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines to raise the standards of provision of parking spaces stipulated therein; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(4) whether it will consider commencing a consultancy study on the demand for private car parking spaces so as to grasp the specific situation of the shortage of private car parking spaces; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(5) as the Buildings Department, for the purpose of encouraging developers to provide underground public parking spaces, revised the relevant guidelines in March this year to provide that underground public car parks in private development projects will be granted 100 per cent gross floor area concessions subject to compliance with certain requirements, of the outcome of the measure so far (including the resultant number of additional private car parking spaces); and

(6) as I have learnt that only a few privately operated car parks are currently providing real-time parking information to the mobile application called Hong Kong eRouting developed by the Transport Department, whether the Government will provide incentives to encourage more operators of privately operated car park to do the same; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     Statistics for the past ten years show that the overall growth of vehicle fleet exceeds the supply of parking spaces. The Government is aware of the community's call for more parking spaces. As set out in the Chief Executive's 2017 Policy Address, the Government will implement a series of short- and medium to long-term measures to increase parking spaces in various districts having regard to the local situation. These measures include studying the opening up of parking spaces and loading/unloading bays currently designated for own use of the development projects concerned and putting them up for night-time public parking of commercial vehicles; and providing public car parks in suitable new Government, Institution and Community facilities etc. My reply to the various parts of the Hon Jimmy Ng's question is as follows:

(1) and (2) Land resources in Hong Kong are limited. Generally speaking, sites suitable for multi-storey car park uses also have potential for other development purposes. Integrating the planning of public parking spaces and development projects is the best means to optimise land use and more beneficial to the community as a whole. At present, the Government mainly provides parking spaces through private development projects in various districts under the Land Sale Programme. On the supply of new parking spaces in individual years, given factors such as planning schedule and works progress of individual development projects, it is difficult for the Transport Department (TD) to provide specific forecasts on the number of new parking spaces in the coming five years.
     The TD will continue to discuss with relevant departments to proactively provide public car parks in suitable government development projects. For example, a total of more than 1 500 public parking spaces will be provided at the boundary crossing facilities to be commissioned (including the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point) and at the West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

     The Lands Department (LandsD) is responsible for the management of developable government land not yet leased or allocated for long-term development uses. To put land resources to gainful use, the LandsD will, where practicable, put the government sites concerned to appropriate temporary use(s) by suitable means, including allocating the sites to government bureaux/departments for their use by way of Temporary Government Land Allocation, and leasing the land by way of short-term tenancies (STTs) granted through open tenders for various commercial purposes (including fee-paying public car parks). Given the need to consider a range of factors, such as the implementation timetables of the long-term development plans, locations, topographical features and size of individual pieces of government land, the Government is unable to provide a forecast of the list of government sites to be let by way of new STTs in the coming five years for use as temporary car parks. The LandsD can only provide a monthly-updated rolling forecast of STTs planned to be granted through open tender in the coming six months for reference. Information on government sites planned to be released as STTs for fee-paying public car parks through open tender between November 2017 and April 2018 is set out at Annex.
(3) and (4) The standards concerning parking spaces stipulated in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) aim to provide guidance to individuals and organisations involving in development projects, as well as government departments, on the parking demands in development projects.
     The Government has been paying close attention to the demand for and supply of parking spaces in Hong Kong, and would review the standards concerning parking space supply as and when necessary so as to meet the parking demand. Such reviews can be comprehensive reviews, or targeted reviews focusing on the demands in individual types of development projects or from individual types of vehicles. The utilisation rate of various types of parking spaces and the social and economic factors affecting vehicle fleet growth etc. need to be taken into consideration. Since 1997, a number of updates have been made to the standards and guidelines in relation to parking spaces in Chapter 8 of the HKPSG.

     Commercial vehicles (in particular goods vehicles and coaches) serve the function of carrying passengers and goods and have practical needs for parking spaces in their daily operations. They have been playing an important role in the logistics industry, tourism industry as well as the overall economy. The Government's current policy in the provision of parking spaces is to accord priority to commercial vehicles. To address the shortage of parking spaces for commercial vehicles, the Government has proactively implemented various measures to provide more parking spaces as soon as practicable. A consultancy study on commercial vehicle parking will commence shortly with a view to formulating measures for meeting the demands from commercial vehicles. We will work with relevant bureaux and departments to explore and examine possible measures, including the feasibility of revising the standards for parking spaces and loading/unloading bays for commercial vehicles in the HKPSG.

     Unlike commercial vehicles, private cars are used mostly for private purposes. In response to the community's demand for private car parking spaces, one of the measures put forward in the Chief Executive's 2017 Policy Address is to require developers to provide parking spaces at the higher end of the range under the HKPSG. The Government will also have regard to the needs in individual districts and may require developers to provide additional parking spaces in suitable projects for public use. The specific number of parking spaces to be provided in those developments needs to be considered having regard to individual circumstances, including the local shortfall of parking spaces, impact on the development projects concerned and traffic impact on local road network etc. The TD will continue to closely monitor the demand for and supply of parking spaces in various districts.

(5) The Buildings Department has revised its guidelines with a view to offering incentives for developers to provide underground public parking spaces. Those parking spaces are required under the statutory town plans or by the TD to be open to the public and operated commercially. The TD has not compiled statistics on the additional number of underground parking spaces provided as a result of the concession.

(6) The TD has been liaising with the operators of commercial public car parks and STT car parks on government land to encourage them to provide real-time information of parking vacancies of their car parks to the public through Hong Kong eRouting mobile application and the Government's public sector information portal Data.Gov.HK. Such information will help motorists find parking spaces more easily and alleviate the traffic congestion caused by vehicles circulating on roads in search of available parking spaces.

     The TD has received positive feedbacks from some car park operators. Real-time parking information of over 60 car parks (including government and commercial public car parks) has been disseminated through Hong Kong eRouting. Some data have also been uploaded to Data.Gov.HK and can be used for developing innovative products with added value and flexibility for mix-and-match. The TD will continue to encourage other car park operators to provide real-time parking data.
Ends/Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:00
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