LCQ12: Improving ancillary facilities at Tai Po Lung Mei Beach

     Following is a question by the Hon Dominic Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Kevin Yeung, in the Legislative Council today (May 31):
     Tai Po Lung Mei Beach (the Beach), which was officially opened in June 2021, is the only public bathing beach in Tai Po District. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it has planned and studied the connection of the Beach to Tai Mei Tuk for development into a waterfront promenade, and to repair the relevant seaside facilities, provide additional leisure facilities and bring in more restaurants, so as to build the relevant location into the second Hong Kong Gold Coast and make it one of Hong Kong's signature attractions;
(2) as it is learnt that in the area between Ting Kok Road near Tai Po Lung Mei Road and the Beach, some parts of the footpath near the seaside have crash barriers installed in the middle, resulting in the relevant section of the footpath being only several inches wide and quite a number of villagers being forced to walk on the carriageway when walking to that section, thus posing danger, whether the Government will improve the relevant section (e.g. widening the section concerned or altering the design of the crash barriers concerned), so as to protect the safety of the villagers; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) whether the Government will enhance the facilities at the Beach, such as providing additional leisure facilities, installing the Smart Public Toilet System in public toilets, using a smart system to monitor the water quality of the Beach, and planting more trees, so as to improve the quality of the Beach; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(4) whether the Government will enhance the ancillary transport facilities in the vicinity of the Beach, such as increasing the number of public transport routes to connect with other areas of the northeast New Territories, and providing additional parking spaces in the car park; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
     After consulting the Transport and Logistics Bureau (TLB), my consolidated reply to the questions raised by the Hon Dominic Lee is as follows:
(1) Tai Mei Tuk has always been a popular leisure area with the provision of a lot of outdoor activities. As for the coast of the Tai Po Lung Mei Beach (the Beach), it is adjacent to Tai Mei Tuk and complements the recreational facilities thereat, attracting a lot of visitors to the area. Since the opening of the Beach to the public for enjoyment in June 2021, the facilities on the Beach have been in good condition. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will consider providing beach chairs and sun umbrellas at the sunbathing area of the Beach so as to create a more comfortable beach environment for the public. The Government will continue to keep in view the needs of the public and develop more recreational facilities in due course.
(2) According to the information provided by the TLB, the gap between the crash barriers and fence at the retaining wall along Ting Kok Road near Tai Po Lung Mei Road is not a footpath. At present, pedestrians traveling between the Beach and Tai Mei Tuk can use the footpath on Ting Kok Road alongside the cycle track near Lung Mei Village. The Transport Department (TD) will arrange installation of traffic signs to remind the public to use the abovementioned footpath on the opposite side of Ting Kok Road. 
(3) At present, the Beach has been extensively planted with vegetation, including about 110 trees, more than 20 000 bushes and 10 000 clusters of ground covers. To provide further greening for the beach environment, the LCSD plans to plant additional tress in mid-2023 and beautify the Beach with ornamental plants such as seasonal annuals from time to time. The LCSD will, in consultation with the relevant works departments, explore the feasibility of providing smart toilets, smart water supply system etc. with a view to optimising the facilities of the Beach.
(4) Currently, the Beach is well-served by public transport services connecting to Tai Po Market Station and Tai Po Town Centre, including KMB Route Nos. 75K (Tai Mei Tuk – Tai Po Market Station), 275R (Tai Po Market Station – Wu Kau Tang), New Territories Green Minibus Route Nos. 20C (Tai Po Market Station – Tai Mei Tuk) and 20R (Tai Po Market Station – Wu Kau Tang), which facilitates passengers to interchange to railway service or other public transport services to other districts. The TD will keep in view the operation of these services, and arrange service adjustments as and when necessary to meet passenger needs.
     To address to the parking demand arising from the Beach, the Government has provided 75 private car parking spaces, 7 motorcycle parking spaces and 3 coach parking spaces at the Beach. In addition, there are other public parking areas in the vicinity for use. The TD would continue to monitor the parking situation in the area and review the feasibility of providing additional parking spaces.

Ends/Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:00