A group of professionals have made a strong plea to the government to drop its "extravagant and unwanted" HK$1.7 billion plan for an elevated pedestrian footbridge in Yuen Long.
The footbridge is aimed at relieving the current pedestrian congestion in the area
But the Hong Kong Institute of Architects said the government will set a bad precedent if it goes ahead with the plan, when they and three other professional bodies – the Institute of Planners, Institute of Landscape Architects and the Institute of Urban Design – have come together to offer a much cheaper alternative.
The Institute of Surveyors has also joined the four in issuing an unprecedented statement asking officials to drop the plan.
Freddie Hai, from the Institute of Architects, said the proposal is not only too costly, but it does not serve the purpose of reducing congestion.
"We don't see the need for a 540 metre long elevated footbridge. Instead we would like to bring people down to the pedestrian level," he said. "So people can walk on the pavement on the ground level, in a very nicely landscaped area instead of this elevated, artificial, concrete structure."
He said the alternative they drew up would cost only HK$0.9 billion.
Hai said they have met government officials several times over this. He said on Tuesday they again met the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Frank Chan, and he seemed to support their idea.
But Hai said they are still not sure what the outcome will be when Legco's Finance Committee considers the government proposal on Friday.
He told RTHK's Janice Wong that the lawmakers' credibility will be ruined if they approve this plan that is "extravagant, unnecessary and not serving the purpose".