Lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun has demanded the government respond to worsening congestion in Kwun Tong, citing an average peak hour bus speed of just 1.3 kph – around a quarter of an average adult’s walking pace.
The 1.7 km bus ride from Kwun Tong Ferry Pier to Millennium City 5 takes around 77 minutes during peak periods, says Tse, against nine minutes for a non-peak trip. “The traffic along [the route] is almost paralysed during peak hours,” he says, calling it a “totally hopeless situation”.
The tourism sector lawmaker blames misplaced government priorities for the worsening situation.
“The Energizing Kowloon East Office has been focusing solely on the development of commercial land lots, to the neglect of the fact that a number of roads in the district have long reached their maximum capacity, resulting in the traffic congestion problems being aggravated,” he says.
Tse also asked Secretary for Development Michael Wong why the government had spent HK$92 million on studying proposals for the “Environmentally Friendly Linkage System”, a project which, Tse says, “has disappeared into obscurity” since its abrupt cancellation earlier this year.
The government’s proposals to instead introduce electric and hybrid minibuses will, Tse says, further worsen traffic congestion.
In response, Secretary for Development Michael Wong said the government had “all along” been concerned about the traffic congestion in the area and had been “striving hard to improve the pedestrian environment and traffic condition in the area.”
Wong said the so-called “green measures” including electric vehicles used as minibuses, would complement the local infrastructure and that police were deployed to illegal parking black spots “to advise/warn the drivers not to violate traffic regulations”.
Tse later told Transit Jam it was “usual for the government to just say something without answering the question”.
“We are all used to it,” he said.