On the Roads

LAWMAKERS QUIZ OFFICIALS ON TAI PO ROAD BRIDGE ROUTE

The scenic spot across the Lam Tseun river where district councillors have called for urgent reconsideration of a long-forgotten road bridge project

The government’s proposal puts a bridge between two existing pedestrian bridges

Lawmakers visited the site of a controversial bridge proposal in Tai Po yesterday after an urgent District Council request to resurrect the 20-year-old project and ease traffic burdens in the area.

Convenor Lam Cheuk-ting, Ray Chan Chi-chuen, Dr Lo Wai-kwok and Alvin Yeung walked around the site of the long-shelved road bridge plans, and heard proposals from government and local district councillors.

The government’s latest proposal puts a bridge between two pedestrian bridges, obliterating a scenic spot and, according to newly elected Tai Po councillor Nick Lam Ming-yat, not making the most direct route for residents.

Nick Lam has instead proposed a bridge alongside the rail bridge, which he says is not only more efficient, but would also allow longer vehicles to pass.

Transport Department Chief Engineer Ken Yip said the government would explore the District Council proposals, but he was not too hopeful given the technical challenges involved. The rail bridge adjacent to the proposed site poses a physical obstacle for construction, he said, with little space for heavy construction machinery such as pile drivers. Yip also said he believed the government’s proposal was the most direct short-cut across the Lam Tsuen River: other routes require drivers to take a detour, he said.

Lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said the government should listen to the district council. “We urge the government to consider the alternative proposed by the district councillors of Tai Po. Of course there are some technical challenges but the government must listen to the residents’ opinion and try their very best to resolve those problems.”

Lam Cheuk-ting is also concerned at the government’s failure to limit the growth of Hong Kong’s private car fleet. “In the past 10 years the private cars have increased 50% which is a very worrying figure, so we urge the government to consider the transport policy,” he said.

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