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LCQ16: Transport planning for Kowloon East
     Following is a question by the Hon Wu Chi-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, in the Legislative Council today (January 31):


     The Government indicated last year that the Energizing Kowloon East Office under the Development Bureau was considering the development of an underground car park in the district open space at Sze Mei Street, San Po Kong. In addition, the Government proposes to provide more combinations of interchange routes with fare concessions at the bus stops in San Po Kong outside the Latitude in order to strengthen the transport linkage between Kowloon East and places such as the Kai Tak Development Area. On the other hand, the Government completed an interim public consultation exercise for the Detailed Feasibility Study for an Environmentally Friendly Linkage System (EFLS) for Kowloon East in the middle of last year. Regarding the transport planning for Kowloon East, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) as there are views that, upon the commissioning of the general hospital in Kai Tak, the roads in the San Po Kong Industrial Area and its vicinity as well as Kai San Road will become the main access roads for ambulances travelling from Wong Tai Sin to the hospital, whether, in respect of the aforesaid car park development proposal, it has assessed (i) the impact of the proposal on the traffic flow of the area, (ii) if the proposal will worsen the existing traffic congestion problem in the area, and (iii) if the proposal will lengthen the time taken by ambulances for travelling from Wong Tai Sin to the hospital; if it has assessed, of the outcome; if not, whether it will conduct such an assessment immediately; of the measures to relieve the traffic congestion in the area;
(2) as there is a suggestion that the aforesaid bus stops for bus-bus interchange should be relocated to somewhere outside the Regal Oriental Hotel on Prince Edward Road East so that those bus routes via the Choi Hung Road Flyover can be included in the combinations of interchange routes with fare concessions, whether the Government has studied the feasibility of this suggestion; if so, of the outcome; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) as the EFLS alignment currently proposed by the Government is to connect EFLS with the MTR Kwun Tong Station via Hoi Yuen Road or King Yip Street, whether the Government will consider changing the connecting point to the Yau Tong Station, so as to avoid exacerbating the existing problems of (i) frequent traffic congestion in the vicinity of Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong, and (ii) passenger patronage at the Kwun Tong Station being over the capacity during peak hours; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

     My reply to various parts of the Hon Wu Chi-wai's question is as follows:
(1) To mitigate the demand for public car park in Wong Tai Sin District, the Government proposes to utilise part of the underground space beneath Sze Mei Street Open Space (i.e. the existing East Kai Tak Playground) for providing a public car park.  In the first quarter of this year, Energizing Kowloon East Office will commence the Feasibility Study on Pedestrian Environment and Traffic Improvement of San Po Kong Business Area, which includes an assessment of the traffic impact of the construction of underground car park at Sze Mei Street Open Space on the district and its vicinity and proposals on the necessary mitigation measures.  The Government will be mindful of the traffic impact caused by the future developments in its vicinity (such as various development projects inside the Kai Tak Development Area, including the general hospital in Kai Tak, etc).  Besides, with the commissioning of the road network in the Kai Tak Development Area, there will be additional routes for accessing the area.  Vehicles can access the Kai Tak Development Area via different road connections along the peripheral of Kai Tak, such as To Kwan Wan Road, Olympic Avenue, the east and west bounds of Prince Edward Road East, Wang Kwong Road and Kai Shing Street, and then via the road network in Kai Tak to access the future general hospital in Kai Tak.  Upon the commissioning of the concerned roads, traffic conditions of the roads heading to the Kai Tak Development Area (including Kai San Road and its surroundings) is expected to be relieved.
(2) Currently, the franchised bus company provides interchange concessions at the bus stop near the Regal Oriental Hotel on Prince Edward Road East for some of the bus routes passing through Choi Hung Road, so as to facilitate the interchange of passengers for Tsz Wan Shan and Choi Wan.  The Transport Department will continue to explore with the franchised bus company the offering of more concessionary interchange schemes at eastbound and westbound bus stops near the Regal Oriental Hotel to enable passengers to travel conveniently to more destinations.  The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited also plans to install seats and real-time arrival information display panels at the concerned eastbound and westbound bus stops within this year with a view to further providing convenience to the waiting and interchanging passengers.
(3) According to the Development Bureau, the Civil Engineering and Development Department is currently taking forward the Stage 2 detailed feasibility study on the Environmentally Friendly Linkage System (EFLS) for Kowloon East, so as to formulate an EFLS proposal covering its alignment, network coverage and implementation programme, etc, and to review its connections with the adjacent developments along the alignment including those with MTR stations according to the latest development of Kowloon East.  When studying the alignment of the EFLS, traffic conditions of the nearby areas and the operation of the related railway stations will be taken into account.  Regarding the study outcome of the Stage 2 study, public consultation will be conducted to collect public views on it later this year.
Ends/Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Issued at HKT 16:15
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