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LCQ14: Developing smart motorways in Northern Metropolis
     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Siu-hung and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, in the Legislative Council today (July 12):


     It is learnt that the Government will introduce smart mobility elements into the Northern Metropolis to take forward the smart transport infrastructure, including the development of smart motorways, and at the same time enhance traffic connectivity between the Northern Metropolis and the Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether the Government will, in the light of the "infrastructure-led" principle, formulate strategies and interim development goals as well as draw up a roadmap and an implementation timetable for the development of smart motorways when planning the development of the Northern Metropolis; if so, of the details; if not, how it ensures that the development of smart transport infrastructure will tie in with the development pace of the Northern Metropolis;

(2) as it is learnt that the development of smart motorways in the Northern Metropolis needs to tie in with the planning of housing, traffic and transport as well as various infrastructure facilities in the relevant districts, how the Northern Metropolis Co-ordination Office (NMCO) assumes its co-ordinating and championing role to strengthen the co-ordination work with the relevant policy bureaux and government departments, so as to integrate the designs of smart motorways into the relevant planning in a timely manner, thereby avoiding hindrances to the development of smart motorways;

(3) as it is learnt that the development of smart motorways involves data collection by different government departments (e.g. data from the Geospatial Portals, Traffic Data Analytics System and Intelligent Road Network Packages), how NMCO assumes its co-ordinating and championing role to facilitate the consolidation, application, as well as opening up and sharing of data of different government departments, so as to enhance data interchange among government departments, thereby tying in with the development of smart motorways; and

(4) whether it will draw reference from the relevant infrastructure in as well as the relevant laws and regulations of the Mainland cities of GBA, so as to facilitate connectivity with the smart motorways in those cities; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     In consultation with the Development Bureau (DEVB), my consolidated reply to questions raised by the Hon Chan is as follows:

     Smart motorways management is one of the topics under the Traffic and Transport Strategy Study (TTSS). The Transport Department (TD) commenced the TTSS in December 2021 and visited a number of Mainland and overseas cities with its consultant team this year to study the development of transport technology, including smart motorways management, in these cities.

     The TTSS recommends introducing the concept of smart motorways management into Hong Kong, which not only harnesses technology to fully utilise limited road resources, but also enhances the resilience of major roads in responding to emergencies. By enhancing the existing traffic management systems and collecting and analysing traffic data in a more extensive manner, more comprehensive and effective traffic management can be implemented.

     The TTSS preliminarily recommends that all the major roads under planning in Hong Kong, and those proposed under the Strategic Studies on Railways and Major Roads beyond 2030 (e.g. Northern Metropolis Highway) should be constructed as smart controlled motorways to enhance road carrying efficiency and resilience. As far as technical standards and applications are concerned, the TD will adhere to the direction of maintaining connectivity with other cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The TD has started the relevant preparatory work for smart motorways, including sparing no effort in actively liaising with relevant works departments to incorporate suitable smart motorways elements and requirements into the design at the early stage of road planning.

     As mentioned above, the TD, under the policy guidance of the Transport and Logistics Bureau, has commenced the preparatory work for launching smart motorways, including consulting relevant departments to finalise the design elements of smart motorways. During the process, the DEVB and its departments (including the Northern Metropolis Co-ordination Office (NMCO)) will provide information on the relevant planning proposals and programmes with regard to land and housing development. In order to gauge external views and harness the collective wisdom, the NMCO will co-ordinate with relevant policy bureaux/departments in proposing agenda items on smart motorways and other smart city infrastructure for discussions at the future meetings of the Sub-committee on Transport and Other Infrastructure under the Advisory Committee on the Northern Metropolis.
Ends/Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:00
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