'Trackless transit' to ease Kowloon East woes: Lam - RTHK
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

'Trackless transit' to ease Kowloon East woes: Lam

2022-10-24 HKT 11:46
Share this story facebook
  • 'Trackless transit' to ease Kowloon East woes: Lam
Transport Secretary Lam Sai-hung said on Monday that the government was looking at innovative transit technology to ease transport problems in eastern Kowloon as he confirmed that the idea of an MTR line for the area was no longer on the agenda.

The Federation of Trade Unions had questioned why improving transport for Sau Mau Ping, Choi Wan and Shun Tin was not mentioned in Chief Executive John Lee's Policy Address last week, but Lam said the administration was now looking at an elevated, trackless system for the area.

Asked why the MTR line was no longer proposed, Lam said "because when we explore further, we find that the rate the railway climbs, there has to be a limit and this will result in very deep stations and that will become very costly.

"That is why we explore an alternative. We call it the elevated, trackless rapid transit system, to replace the original heavy rail system."

Lam said officials were still studying the idea and expected to have an outcome in the first half of next year to put to the public.

FTU lawmaker Bill Tang, who represents Kowloon East, had said on Friday that 300,000 people living in the area were seeing their livelihoods suffer because of a lack of mass transit, a problem that would be made worse as a further 100,000 residents move in in the coming years.

The party questioned why the East Kowloon MTR line, first put forward in a railway development plan in 2014, was not included in the Policy Address, and suggested a rubber-tyred metro line linking the area to the MTR network as an alternative.

Meanwhile Lam said that the government had found a route for the proposed Northern Metropolis highway that balances environmental conservation with developmental needs, and stressed that conservation is always one of the main focuses in any infrastructure project.

“The Northern Metropolis highway is near many fish ponds and wetland. How do we find a route that doesn’t affect wetland and fish ponds too much? A highway has to be wider than a tunnel, depending on its lanes. It is wider than railways,” he said.

“We put in a lot of effort, and we are quite lucky, in that we found a route that meets transportation needs and also mitigates the impact on the environment,” he added.

Lam said there’s no time table for the construction of the highway yet. It will be part of a public consultation to be launched later this year on three major road schemes and railway projects.

'Trackless transit' to ease Kowloon East woes: Lam