Tsuen Wan Rural
District Quarterly No.7
Consultation on building railway in our district
- Environment and Hygiene: Upkeep our scenic coast
- Local Consultation: Proposed Tuen Mun – Tsuen Wan – Sha Tin Monorail
- Transportation: Request to improve service level of 962B
- Local Issues: Moving bus stop closer & Improving Lido traffic congestion
Norris Hin Lung Ng
Tsuen Wan District Councillor
Environment and Hygiene: Upkeep our scenic coast
1: Supervise the refuse clearing works at coasts and beaches
|In summer, refuse relentlessly being washed up to the shore due to the prevailing winds. With reference to the experience of last year , I urged, before this summer, FEHD to strengthen the manpower in preparation of the coastal cleaning works this summer. Also, in light of the inaccessible coastal areas in Tsing Lung Tau, I proposed in the Council to provide proper access to these areas to ensure cleansing workers can safely carry out their duties. For the time being, FEHD deployed sampan to reach the coast.|
2: Oil Spill of Unknown Source at Angler’s Bay
|On 24 September 2017, there was a suspected oil spill at Anglers’ Beach. The relevant government departments made a swift and coordinated response. Red warning flag was hoisted, oil-absorbing material was attached to the shark net, chemicals were sprayed to disperse the oil, supected oil barrels were picked up and water sample was collected for quality tests. The tests showed satisfactory results and the beach was reopened on 26 September. Although the origin and composition of the spilt oil are still unknown, I requested the departments to continue their investigation to prevent similar incidents in the future.|
Local Consultation: Proposed Tuen Mun – Tsuen Wan – Sha Tin Monorail
Why railway in our district?
1: Railway as vital vessel amid chronic congestion of roads
“Report on Study of Road Traffic Congestion in Hong Kong” released in December 2014 by Traffic Advisory Committee, pointed out that there are too many vehicles on the road causing traffic congestion and the number of vehicles in Hong Kong is increasing in an alarming rate. In recent years, congestion happens on the strategic routes such as Ting Kau Bridge and West Kowloon Highway even there are no traffic accidents. A journey of half an hour ends up costing an hour becoming a norm. Every commute residents could do nothing but wish the traffic would be smooth.
The railway provides an independent transport system which is unaffected by road conditions. It provides stable service amid road traffic imbalance acting as the vital vessels of our district.
2: Substantial increase in population of West New Territories
Along Castle Peak Road – Tuen Mun Section a dozen of residential projects would be completed in near the future. Since bus lanes are in force at Tuen Mun Road during morning peak hours, it is anticipated that most of the new traffic from these new residences mostly flow to the Sham Tseng Interchange. Seven years later, Hung Shui Kiu and Yuen Long Nam new development areas would be progressively occupied, which further increase the burden on Tuen Mun Road and Ting Kau Bridge.
Nonetheless, the government has no relevant railway planning. Relevant documents of “Hong Kong 2030+” suggests the development of East Lantau Metropolis and rail link between Tuen Mun and Hong Kong Island after 2030. It is virtually impossible to use the current infrastructure to sustain the current development of West New Territories. Soon, Tuen Mun Road will likely be back to the era of everyday-congestion which we experienced in the past.
Why terminating at Tai Wai rather than Nam Cheong?
3: Railway connecting East and West providing wider coverage
Connecting the new railway to Nam Cheong Station may allow easy interchange to Tung Chung Line to Hong Kong Island or West Rail to Tsim Sha Tsui or Hung Hom. The other way round is to connect the new railway to Tai Wai Station. As such, Tsuen Wan Line, East Rail Line and the upcoming Eastern and Western lines would be easily accessible. Accessing Kowloon East would be easily than before.
Moreover, the construction of the railway takes time and heavy cost. At present, the railway network focused on the development of routes connecting the North and South. The infrastructure investment connecting the East and the New Territories is apparently less. Moreover, as Hong Kong is in the process of decentralisation, a sustained tread of relocation of commercial activities to Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong and Shatin is on the way. Rail connection between Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan and Tai Wai stations enhances the currently weak transportation between the three major towns, which serves Hong Kong as a whole rather than residents in the local districts.
Why monorail rather than conventional heavy rail?
4: Facing the true limitations and Raising viable proposals
The government repeatedly proposed the construction of Tsuen Tsuen Railway and studied its feasibility. Since the Railway Development Strategy in 1994, a new railway linking Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan along the Castle Peak Road was being studied but later decided to observe Tai Lam Tunnel which becomes West Rail Line today. The task forces of Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun District Council in the past published a report on the proposed construction of Tsuen Tsuen Railway in 2011. However, the government continued to use the conventional railway development model to carry on their feasibility studies. As a result, the conclusion of “high cost”, “high difficulty” and “affecting the natural scenery” was drawn in the Railway Development Strategy Report in 2014.
For past two decades, many studies have explicitly ruled out the conventional railway development model for Tsuen Tuen Railway. The only way forward is to face the problems pointed out in the research report squarely and raise practical solutions. I propose to build the railway without reclamation and run along the Tuen Mun Highway. Monorail allows more flexibility than the conventional railway to run through undulating hills.
Why dual system of express and local trains?
5: Benefiting most areas along without sacrificing speed
In the Railway Development Strategy 2014, there were only five stations between Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan West, including Sam Shing, So Kwun Wat, Tsing Lung Tau, Sham Tseng and Bayview. The report concluded that the population is dispersed along the route and there would be limited time saving should the new railway be built.
I propose a dual railway system with express and local trains which cover even more areas. For the more densely populated areas, the station will be upgraded to express train stations to keep the railway attractive. Areas in which future developments are known, such as Cafeteria Beach, Tai Lam will benefit from the railway. For areas with less population but without anticipated significant population changes such as Ting Kau, the necessity to build up a station would depend on the future planning.
Dual systems and even multiple systems are very common in Japan, which we would learn from its mode of operation. For example, the Tokaido line connects Tokyo and Kobe, in which express trains only stop at major cities, while local trains stops at rural areas.
What would be the implication to our district?
Although I propose the railway to run along the hillside which avoid damaging the coastal environment, railway development would cause significant changes in the community.
The railway will bring tourists into the district and streets may become crowded. Asset prices may rise due to the railway, which may lead to rising rents, disappearance of shops and presence of chain stores. Risks of redevelopment or rezoning would be increased due to the enhanced transportation. Traffic assessment may allow more development projects to be carried out along Castle Peak Road and increase the population density.
What do you think? Please let me know!
I hope residents can fill in the reply form on the back page, for further information, please go to visit my webpage www.nhl.hk (Home→Tuen Mun – Tsuen Wan – Sha Tin Monorail)
Transportation: Request to improve service level of 962B
962B is the most important route in our district accessing Hong Kong Island. There are different aspects which need to be improved. Since my assumption of office last year, I have been in contact with Citybus for insufficient trips. Since August, I am now following up with the corresponding officer of Transport Department in Tuen Mun for the route proposals, which will be discussed in the Council in November 2017.
1: Insufficient morning trips: Passengers keep waiting
The surveys conducted in Sham Tseng showed about 16 buses arrived between 7 and 9 am, 14 of which have standees on board. Passengers failed to board around 3 to 5 fully loaded buses in the survey period. This reveals the problem of insufficient morning trips. I requested that special departures from Hong Kong Garden to Hong Kong Island be extended to 07:00, and first departure to Hong Kong Island be extended to 0600 for resident going to school.
Moreover, as at the moment the first inbound trip departs from Causeway Bay at 09:10. I proposed to provide short trips from Hong Kong Island to Tsing Lung Tau in the morning for residents on shifts such as health care and catering sector to go home without having to interchange many times.
2: Launch new direct route to relieve road pressure
Now 962B stops service at Admiralty before 9am. I understand that many hope 962B to reach Wanchai and Causeway Bay without having to change. Although fare concession is available when resident change from 962B to 962/969 series, many residents chose to change to the MTR at Sheung Wan to reach Wanchai, Causeway Bay or Eastern District, in light of the chronic road congestion on Hong Kong Island.
With reference to the available route information, I propose to set up X962B to provide express service from Tuen Mun Chi Lok Fa Yuen to Wanchai and Causeway Bay via Tsing Lung Tau and Sham Tseng during rush hours to shorten the everyday commute.
3: Utilise the existing infrastructure to reduce delay
962B is a long-haul route. Tuen Mun Road, Ting Kau Bridge, Tsing Kwai Highway and West Kowloon Highway are susceptible to major traffic congestion. Although accidents can not be predicted, congestion could sometimes be avoided.
If accidents occurr on the Tsing Kwai Highway between the Cheung Tsing Tunnel and the Lai Wan Interchange, such as the traffic accident on Kwai Tai Road on September 20, Stonecutters Bridge is a viable alternative route. Therefore, I requested to enhance the communications between the Transport Department and the bus companies so as to inform bus drivers to flexibly choose routes to avoid traffic congestion.
Local Issues: Moving bus stop closer & Improving Lido traffic congestion
1: Hong Kong Garden Footbridge Bus Stop now in use
The bus stop for 48P, 52X, 53 and 962B beneath the footbridge near Hong Kong Garden fully commences from 27 August. The way back home is now closer than before! I followed up the relocation of bus stop since my assumption of office in 2016. I would like to express my gratitude to the current and previous management committees of the HKG Incorporated Owners for their assistance. However, since the dual-way section fare applies to the stop of “Hong Kong Garden” (near the pier), residents who board at Tsuen Wan may need to continue using the existing stop. I will keep requesting the section fare be extended to the new stop.
2: Traffic congestion at traffic light near Lido Garden
Traffic congestion occurs near the Lido Garden traffic light during the morning rush hours. I have conducted a survey in July 2017 and observed that the traffic congestion occurs between 07:35 and 08:35. It was suspected that the traffic light there created a bottleneck which caused the traffic congestion. I contacted and requested the Transport Department to look into the problem. The Department replied in August, stating that insufficient linking between Lido Garden and Sham Tseng Primary School traffic signals caused the bottleneck congestion. The signals are now readjusted and so far the congestion is less serious than before.
[The polling period was over. The results would be announced soon.]
Complete the questionnaire and take picture or capture screen and get a free copy of district-themed 2018 Calendar. While stock lasts. Collect your calendar by 1: To Councillor’s Office during office hours or 2: Join our following street sessions:
18 November 2017 Tsing Lung Tau Minibus Stop 09:00-12:00
25 November 2017 Main Entrance of Lido Garden 09:00-12:00
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