Press statement by the Honourable Mr Justice Michael Victor Lunn

     Following is a statement issued on behalf of the Chairman of the Independent Review Committee on Hong Kong's Franchised Bus Service, the Honourable Mr Justice Michael Victor Lunn, on the work plan of the Committee:

     Mr Rex Auyeung Pak-kuen and Professor Lo Hong-kam, the Members of the Committee, and I acknowledge the grave concern of the community over the safety and reliability of the franchised bus service in Hong Kong arising from the tragic incident on February 10 and other recent serious incidents involving the franchised bus service. We would like to express our sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families.

     In the coming nine months the Committee will examine, from the point of view of safety, the operation and management of franchised buses and the related regulatory and monitoring system, so as to make recommendations to the Chief Executive of safety-related measures with a view to sustaining a safe and reliable service.

     The Committee will examine the terms of the franchises granted to the bus franchise operators and related contractual agreements made pursuant to the legislative regime, together with any relevant guidelines and/or codes of practice. Then, we will examine the operation of the regulatory and monitoring regime in practice, in order to determine whether or not there is compliance with those provisions by the bus franchise operators. The Committee will seek to obtain information as to the operation, regulation and monitoring of bus franchises in overseas jurisdictions.

     The Committee will invite interested parties, including government departments, franchised bus operators, representatives of the employees of franchised bus companies and others concerned with the provision of a safe and reliable franchised bus service, together with members of the public, to provide written and/or oral submissions to the Committee.

     Then, having taken into account the views expressed by interested parties and members of the public, the Committee will consider whether or not the requirements imposed on the franchised bus operators and the enforcement of those requirements are sufficient to secure a safe and reliable bus service. Finally, we will make recommendations of safety-related measures to secure that objective.

     In conducting the review, we will use our best endeavours to ensure that the process is transparent and thorough. We intend to report to the Chief Executive within the time period requested of us.

     I would also like to take the opportunity to emphasise, as the Chief Executive did in her statement on March 13, 2018, that issues relating to the causes and liability of persons involved in the fatal accident on February 10, 2018, will be investigated by the Police and fall outside the Committee's terms of reference.

Ends/Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Issued at HKT 15:20