LCQ 14: Transport infrastructure of Ma On Shan
In the light of the housing developments in the areas of Cheung Muk Tau, Ma On Shan and Ma On Shan Tsuen Road, as well as Shap Sze Heung, Sai Sha Road, etc, some Ma On Shan residents are worried that the transport infrastructure in the district can hardly cope with the additional demand arising from the population growth. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it has assessed the population growth in the areas concerned that will be brought about by the aforesaid housing development projects, and its impact on the road traffic in those areas; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(2) whether it has plans to construct roads and carry out road improvement works to cope with the demand for transport facilities arising from the increased population brought about by the aforesaid housing development projects; if so, of the details and the progress;
(3) given that residents in Tai Wai, Sha Tin, Ma On Shan, Tai Po and the North District currently rely heavily on the "four tunnels and one road" in Sha Tin (i.e. Shing Mun Tunnel, Eagle's Nest Tunnel, Lion Rock Tunnel, Tate's Cairn Tunnel and Tai Po Road) for commuting to and from Kowloon, whether the Government will, in the light of the population growth brought about by the aforesaid housing development projects, study the construction of a tunnel in Sha Tin to connect the areas around the Eastern Harbour Crossing, so as to achieve the diversion effect; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(4) whether it has assessed the impact of the aforesaid housing development projects on the public transport service demand, and whether it will enhance bus and railway services; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(5) whether it has assessed the current shortfall of various types of commercial vehicle parking spaces in Ma On Shan; whether it will increase the supply of parking spaces in the district to meet the demand arising from the aforesaid housing development projects; if it will, of the details and the timetable; if not, the reasons for that?
Having consulted the Housing Bureau and relevant departments, my reply to various parts of the question is as follows:
(1) Before the commencement of the housing developments at Cheung Muk Tau and Ma On Shan Tsuen Road in Ma On Shan, as well as Shap Sz Heung in Sai Kung, the relevant government departments/project proponents have to conduct a detailed traffic impact assessment (TIA) to investigate and formulate the appropriate traffic measures to ensure that the developments concerned will not induce adverse impact on the road networks within the district. The Transport Department (TD) will also take the initiative to provide comments to the relevant government departments/project proponents on the traffic improvement measures. As regards transportation support, the TD would require the provision of transport interchange or suitable road facilities in the proposed developments with a view to facilitating passengers' interchanging between public transport modes in the district.
(2) For the public housing developments project at Cheung Muk Tau, Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) proposed the following roadworks and road improvement works under the site formation and infrastructure work plan:
(i) construction of a carriageway connecting Nin Fung Road with the developments, and reservation of public transports' pick-up and drop-off points to facilitate the residents' commute;
(ii) road improvement works at Nin Fung Road;
(iii) addition of an exclusive left-turn lane connecting the eastbound of Nin Fung Road with the westbound of Sai Sha Road at the roundabout of Sai Sha Road/Nin Fung Road/Nin Wah Road; and
(iv) road improvement works at the junction of Sai Sha Road and Kam Ying Road.
As for public housing developments at Ma On Shan Tsuen Road, the CEDD proposed the following roadworks and road junction improvement works under the site formation and infrastructure work plan:
(i) improvement and widening of a section of the existing Ma On Shan Tsuen Road connecting with the developments;
(ii) widening of the carriageway of a road section from the exit of the roundabout of Ma On Shan Tsuen Road/Ma On Shan Road/Hang Hong Street to Ma On Shan Tsuen Road;
(iii) enhancement works for signal control of the junction of Sai Sha Road and Hang Hong Street; and
(iv) widening a section of the southbound of Tate's Cairn Highway near Ah Kung Kok Fishermen Village from a three-lane carriageway to a four-lane carriageway.
Besides, during the planning application for the Shap Sz Heung development in Sai Kung, the relevant developer has already conducted a TIA. According to the assessment result, the developer will need to implement traffic improvement measures, including widening the section of Sai Sha Road between Sai O Village and Tai Tung Tsuen from a single two-lane carriageway (i.e. two lanes in total for both bounds) to a dual two-lane carriageway (i.e. four lanes in total for both bounds) together with other related measures to cater for the additional traffic arising from the development.
(3) At present, residents in the New Territories East mainly travel to and from Kowloon via major roads such as Tai Po Road, Eagle's Nest Tunnel, Lion Rock Tunnel, and Tate's Cairn Tunnel. In order to improve the traffic conditions of these roads during peak hours, the Government has been taking forward/planning a number of road projects and traffic improvement measures, including the Widening of Tai Po Road (Sha Tin Section), Trunk Road T4, and Improvement of Lion Rock Tunnel.
Upon completion of the abovementioned projects, the overall transport efficiency of Tai Po Road, Eagle's Nest Tunnel and Lion Rock Tunnel will be enhanced, which will help divert some of the traffic flows from Tate's Cairn Tunnel and improve its traffic condition during peak hours.
In respect of major road infrastructures planning in the longer term, the Government is conducting the "Strategic Studies on Railways and Major Roads beyond 2030" to explore the layout of Hong Kong's future railway and major road infrastructure to ensure the planning of major transport infrastructure will drive or even reserve capacity to meet the overall long-term development needs of Hong Kong. The strategic study recommends implementing a 15 km long Shatin Bypass connecting Fanling Highway in Tai Po to the north and the existing major roads near Cheung Sha Wan to the south, providing a more direct connection between Tai Po and West Kowloon. Shatin Bypass will alleviate the pressure of the existing north-south corridors (including Tolo Highway, Tai Po Road, Eagle's Nest Tunnel, Lion Rock Tunnel and Tate's Cairn Tunnel) and allow residents of Ma On Shan to travel to the urban areas via the existing major roads.
(4) To tie in with the completion of the Shap Sz Heung development in phases starting from around end-2023 to early 2024, the TD has proposed the introduction of five bus routes under the Bus Route Planning Programme 2023-2024, and is consulting the relevant District Councils. The five routes will provide services plying between the development area and Ma On Shan Town Centre (via MTR Wu Kai Sha Station), Sha Tin Town Centre, Tsuen Wan, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kwun Tong, with some of them providing en-route stops at the Tate's Cairn Tunnel Bus-bus Interchange and the Tsing Sha Highway Interchange to facilitate passengers' interchanges with other services to different areas. The TD will implement the bus services when appropriate taking into account the feedback received and the progress of population intake of the new development project, and also enhance the services of green minibus routes serving the area where appropriate to meet passenger demand. On railways, the Government and the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) have been closely monitoring the services of all railway lines, and will make suitable train service arrangements in view of the travel patterns and demands of passengers in different areas. The current headway of the MTR Tuen Ma Line (TML) during morning peak hours is about 2.7 to 3 minutes, with sufficient capacity to meet new passenger demand. The MTRCL will continue to closely monitor the operations of railway stations in the Ma On Shan area as well as the population changes and development of the surrounding community, and make timely adjustments to the TML train services in response to passenger needs.
The proposed public housing developments at Cheung Muk Tau and Ma On Shan Tsuen Road in Ma On Shan are expected to complete in phases from 2029/30 to 2032/33. The TD will closely monitor the plan and progress of population intake, with a view to planning and arranging suitable public transport services in a timely manner to meet the commuting needs of residents.
(5) The TD has endeavoured to increase parking provisions for commercial vehicles (CVs) at suitable locations within the Ma On Shan district. For example, the TD has designated seven on-street night-time parking spaces for school private light buses at Hang Kin Street, as well as three on-street night-time parking spaces for public light buses at On Chun Street. In addition, in the short-term tenancy car park in Whitehead, Ma On Shan which commenced operation in early 2022, the TD has designated about 35 parking spaces for coaches/medium and heavy goods vehicles, as well as about 15 parking spaces for light buses/light goods vehicles; the TD also provided 15 metered parking spaces for medium and heavy goods vehicles at Hang Chi Street, Ma On Shan in November of the same year.
Furthermore, following the principle of "single site, multiple use", the Government has been providing public parking spaces in suitable "Government, Institution and Community" facilities and public open space development projects, including those provided for CVs. Regarding the Ma On Shan district, detailed design of a fee-paying public carpark under the Government project of "Amenity Complex in Area 103, Ma On Shan" which is expected to provide parking spaces for CVs is in progress.
When planning new public housing development projects, Hong Kong Housing Authority will make reference to the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) to determine the number of residential parking spaces for public housing based on the number of residential units, and consult relevant departments, including the TD, regarding the provision of suitable public housing parking facilities. In the preliminary design of the Cheung Muk Tau and Ma On Shan Tsuen Road public housing development projects, a higher parking standard for CVs in the HKPSG as revised in 2021 has been adopted to meet the demand for parking spaces of residents and the trade.
Ends/Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Issued at HKT 14:40
Issued at HKT 14:40