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LCQ13: Increasing the supply of motorcycle parking spaces
     Following is a question by the Hon Shang hailong and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, in the Legislative Council today (March 22):
     There are views that the number of motorcycles is increasing in Hong Kong, but the number of parking spaces for use by motorcycles has not increased, and the prolonged occupation of quite a number of legitimate motorcycle parking spaces by "dead vehicles" (i.e. unclaimed vehicles) and abandoned motorcycles has aggravated the problem of shortage of motorcycle parking spaces. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it has compiled statistics on the respective current numbers of public and private motorcycle parking spaces in the territory, and whether it has estimated the shortfall in motorcycle parking spaces in the territory, with a tabulated breakdown by District Council district;
(2) whether it will, when conducting operations to remove dead vehicles and abandoned motorcycles, check the identities of the owners of such vehicles through their chassis numbers, so as to require the owners concerned to bear the expenses of such operations, and charge them high administrative fees and pursue their legal liabilities for achieving a deterrent effect; and
(3) whether it will consider building multi-storey car parks designated for the use of motorcycles, encouraging the private sector to build such car parks, and providing more motorcycle parking spaces at suitable roadside locations and spaces underneath flyovers?

     The Government's policy in the provision of parking spaces is to accord priority to considering and meeting the parking demand of commercial vehicles and to provide, if the overall development permits, an appropriate number of parking spaces for other types of vehicle types including private cars (PCs) and motorcycles; but at the same time not to encourage frequent users of public transport to opt for PCs or motorcycles in lieu of public transport, so as to avoid aggravating the burden on road traffic.

     Hong Kong enjoys a well-developed public transport network, and the Government encourages the public to make good use of the public transport services as far as possible. Nevertheless, the Government understands that some members of the public choose to commute by PCs or motorcycles for various reasons. Hence, the Government has been actively pursuing a host of short-term and medium-to-long-term measures to suitably increase the supply of parking spaces for PCs and motorcycles where circumstances permit, which include but are not limited to the following measures for motorcycles:
(a) Providing parking spaces for motorcycles in development projects in accordance with the parking standards under the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines;
(b) Utilising spaces underneath flyovers for designation as motorcycle parking spaces;
(c) Opening up more motorcycle parking spaces at government buildings for public use during non-office hours;
(d) Exploring suitable on-street locations for the provision of motorcycle parking spaces where traffic conditions permit; and
(e) In line with the principle of "single site, multiple use", providing motorcycle parking spaces for public use in suitable "Government, Institution or Community" (GIC) facilities and public open space (POS) projects.

     Over the past three years, the number of motorcycle parking spaces has been increasing with a view to improving its supply. While the Government will increase the supply of parking spaces when the situation permits, given that Hong Kong is a densely populated city with scarce land resources, the space required for additional parking spaces must be considered alongside housing needs and other land use demand in the planning process. It is neither reasonable nor sustainable to increase parking spaces continuously to catch up with the growth of the vehicle fleet. As such, apart from suitably increasing the provision of parking spaces, we also need to put in place appropriate road and traffic management measures, and with the aid of technology in traffic enforcement, to more effectively manage the number of vehicles on roads.
     After consulting the Transport Department (TD) and the Lands Department (LandsD), our reply to the question is as follows:
(1) The respective numbers of on-street parking spaces, as well as parking spaces provided at government and privately-operated car parks for motorcycles in the 18 districts as at February 2023 are tabulated in the Annex.

     As it is difficult for the TD to know the utilisation of motorcycle parking spaces in private developments, it has not compiled the estimated shortfall in motorcycle parking spaces.
(2) Currently, the inter-departmental joint operations to remove abandoned vehicles on public roads, public pavements and public parking spaces are carried out in accordance with the Land (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 28). In this connection, the LandsD first carries out preliminary search for evidence, including obtaining the record and necessary information of the last registered owner of the vehicle concerned from the TD, and consults the Department of Justice. If there is sufficient evidence, the LandsD will consider instituting prosecution in individual cases to strengthen the deterrent effect on abandoning vehicles illegally.
     In order to tackle vehicle abandonment at source, the TD is planning to enhance the vehicle registration and licensing system by legislative amendment. In respect of vehicles unlicensed for over two years, it is proposed that the registered owner should be required to renew the vehicle licence within a specified period, or cancel the vehicle registration with the TD after the vehicle has been scrapped/permanently despatched out of Hong Kong, or obtain an exemption from the TD by application in case of special needs; otherwise, the vehicle owner commits an offence. As land resources are highly precious in Hong Kong, the proposed penalty of the offence will be set at a level that is sufficiently high, in order to achieve a sufficient deterrent effect, which also reflects the cost that the Government may incur in clearing abandoned vehicles.
     We plan to submit the legislative amendment proposal to the Legislative Council within 2023, and implement the new arrangements in 2024 subject to the passage of the relevant legislative amendment and the completion of system enhancements.
(3) Generally speaking, given the limited land resources in Hong Kong, sites suitable for use as car parks also have the potential for other development purposes. If public car parks can be integrated into development projects, it will make the most optimal use of land and bring more benefits to the development of the society as a whole. The Government will continue to follow the principle of "single site, multiple use" to provide public car parks in suitable development projects. In particular, the TD has been actively exploring the provision of additional public car parks in suitable GIC facilities and POS projects, and will provide an appropriate number of motorcycle parking spaces in addition to private car parking spaces having regard to district needs.
     The TD will also continue to fully utilise the limited road space by providing motorcycle parking spaces at suitable spaces underneath flyovers and on-street locations, on the premise that they do not affect traffic flow, road safety and other road users' loading/unloading activities, so as to meet motorcyclists' short-duration parking needs.
Ends/Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 14:40
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