PLC Paper No. LS 105

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Provisional Legislative Council
on 13 February 1998

Legal Service Division Report on
Resolution under section 25 of the Mass Transit Railway
Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 270)

The Secretary for Transport has given notice to move a motion on 25 February 1998 to seek the Provisional Legislative Council approval of the Mass Transit Railway (Transport Interchange) Bylaw (懀he Bylaw� made by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (岞TRC�.

2.According to the Agreement for the Design, Construction, Financing and Operation of the Airport Railway between the Government and the MTRC, the MTRC is responsible for the design, construction, completion, management, and maintenance of transport interchanges at the three transport interchanges located at the stations of the Airport Express Line, namely, Hong Kong, Kowloon and Tsing Yi. Under section 25 of the Mass Transit Railway Ordinance (Cap. 270), the MTRC may by by-laws provide for, inter alia, the control and regulation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in a transport interchange, the control and regulation of the conduct of members of the public in different parts of a transport interchange and the limitation or exclusion of liabilities of the MTRC in respect of any loss or damage to property in a transport interchange.

3.The Bylaw provides for, inter alia, the following matters :

  1. the application of the Bylaw to all persons and vehicles within a transport interchange;

  2. control and regulation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in a transport interchange;

  3. the provision and regulation of use of car parks and parking spaces in a transport interchange;

  4. the use of the transport interchanges by franchised buses, public light buses and taxis;

  5. the power of the MTRC to appoint authorized persons to enforce provisions of the Bylaw and the powers of such authorized persons;

  6. fixed penalties for certain traffic contraventions relating to parking; and

  7. penalties for offences under the Bylaw which range from a fine at $500 to $5000 and 6 months imprisonment.

4.Part XI of the Bylaw provides for the exclusion and limitation of liabilities of the MTRC. Some of the provisions are not found in similar legislation made by other public transport bodies. The Legal Service Division would need more time to study the legal effect of this part especially issues in relation to section 57 of the Bylaw which subjects the effect of the exclusions under Part XI to the Control of Exemption Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 71).

5.According to the draft speech of the Secretary for Transport which he will make when moving the motion on 25 February 1998, the Airport Railway will start to operate in mid-1998.

6.We would need more time to study the legal issues relating to Part XI of the Bylaw and to consider the Administration response to some other technical issues which we have raised before we are able to submit a final report to Members.

Prepared by

Fung Sau-kuen, Connie
Assistant Legal Adviser
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
10 February 1998