Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No. CB(1)1143
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)


Panel on Planning, Lands and Works

Minutes of special meeting held on Thursday, 15 January 1998, at 10:45 am in Conference Room A of the Legislative Council Building

Members present :

Panel on Planning, Lands and Works

*Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP (Chairman)
Hon KAN Fook-yee (Deputy Chairman)
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
*Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
*Hon YUEN Mo
Hon IP Kwok-him
Hon LAU Wong-fat, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting

Panel on Transport

Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP (Chairman)
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, JP
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP

Members absent :

Panel on Planning, Lands and Works

Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon LEUNG Chun-ying, JP
*Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
*Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
*Hon NGAN Kam-chuen

Panel on Transport

Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung (Deputy Chairman)
Hon WONG Siu-yee
Hon Henry WU
Hon CHAN Choi-hi
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon LAW Cheung-kwok

Public officers attending :

Mr Wilson FUNG
Principal Assistant Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (Planning)

Mr Bosco FUNG
Deputy Director of Planning

Mr Johnny CHAN
Principal Assistant Secretary for Transport

Director of Highways

Mr George LAI
Government Engineer/Port and Airport
Transport Department

Clerk in attendance :

Miss Odelia LEUNG
Chief Assistant Secretary (1)1

Staff in attendance :

Mrs Mary TANG
Senior Assistant Secretary (1)2

Development of the road network between Lantau and North West New Territories
(PLC Paper No. CB(1)779(01))

The meeting was originally intended to be a joint meeting of the Planning, Lands and Works and the Transport Panels. In the absence of a quorum for the joint meeting, members present agreed to proceed as a special meeting of the Planning, Lands and Works Panel.

2. At the invitation of the Chairman, the Director of Highways (DHy) briefly explained the proposed development of Route 10 - North Lantau to Yuen Long Highway, highlighting the proposed alignments and its links with other major road projects as detailed in the paper. The investigation and preliminary design works of the proposed project would start in March 1998 for completion in August 2000. Further investigation would be required to ensure the compatibility of Route 10 with new cross boundary road links being examined under the Crosslinks Further Study. Construction works of the Route were expected to commence in 2002 for completion in 2007.

3. Referring to a recent announcement by Zhuhai authorities on the approval by the State Council of the financing and construction of the Lingdingyang Crossing linking Zhuhai with Tuen Mun, a member noted with concern the compatibility of the cross-boundary road network proposed by the Mainland authorities with the proposed Route 10 which was only at its planning stage and was not expected to be completed until 2007. She called on the Administration to liaise with the Mainland authorities with a view to devising a system of mutually compatible road network to facilitate cross- boundary traffic.

4. In response, the Deputy Director of Planning (D D of P) explained that the development of cross-boundary road projects had always been high on the agenda of the Infrastructure Coordination Committee (ICC). There had been mutual exchanges of ideas and both sides were well aware of each other's proposed road network developments. He pointed out that it was a common practice for the Mainland authorities to announce a plan in public before proceeding with detailed investigation and feasibility studies. As far as he understood, the proposed Lingdingyang project was at the investigation and feasibility studies stage. Further investigation on the alignment and design capacity of the northern section of Route 10 was necessary to ensure its compatibility with cross-boundary links being examined under the Crosslinks Further Study. Based on the results of the Crosslinks Further Study, the consultants would assess the demand of the cross boundary traffic and work out the engineering requirements of the Route 10 project.

5. Members stressed the need for enhanced transparency in the work of the ICC. They opined that the Mainland authorities had announced in October 1997 the construction of Lingdingyang Crossing for completion by 2006, which would link Zhuhai and Tuen Mun at Lan Kok Tsui. However, the Hong Kong Government had yet to be committed to doing such a project.

6. In response, PAS/PEL advised that at its meeting in October 1997, the ICC had discussed the financial arrangement for cross-boundary links. The exact location and the timing of construction of these transport links had yet to be decided and hence no announcement was made by the Administration. However, both sides had agreed on the need to commission consultancy studies before finalising the details of construction. The final arrangement would be subject to the approval by the State Council on the Mainland side and the Executive Council on the Hong Kong side.

7. As to the frequency of meetings of the ICC, D D of P confirmed that apart from holding full ICC meetings, other Subcommittees under the ICC such as the Technical Group of the Roads and Bridges Panel met on an ad hoc basis to exchange ideas on specific projects. In the past 15 months, the said Technical Group had met three times.

8. The Chairman reiterated the importance of coodination with the Mainland counterparts in planning transport infrastructure. Where announcements were to be made concerning cross-boundary developments, these were better in the form of a joint communique to ensure consistency. PAS/PEL agreed to consider the suggestion and to provide more detailed information on the work of the ICC to the public in future.Admin.

9. Members highlighted on the need for early completion of the southern part of Route 10 to tie in with the development of cross-boundary links. DHy explained in response that the planned construction of the Green Island Link hinged upon the reclamation development at Kennedy Town. The Administration would soon seek funding approval for undertaking a feasibility study on the proposed construction of the Green Island Link. Meanwhile, the So Kwun Wat section of Route 10 would link up Route 9 in easing the traffic flow in North West New Territories.

10. On a member's concern about accuracy in the estimation of cross boundary traffic projections, D D of P admitted that the past estimates made by Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Hong Kong authorities were at variance with each other and for this very reason the Crosslinks Further Study was deemed necessary.

11. As regards the schedule for the completion of the transport links between Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Shenzhen, PAS/PEL said that it would be difficult to provide a realistic time schedule at this stage as the projects had yet to be approved, pending the results of the Crosslinks Further Study. He assured members that once the results of the Crosslinks Further Study were available, the Administration would work out by around mid-1999 a coordinated schedule with the Mainland authorities on the completion of the crosslink projects.

12. Given the current state of affairs as detailed by the Administration, members expressed grave concern over the progress of transport infrastructure development on the Hong Kong side which might not tie in with the target completion date of the Lingdingyang Crossing in 2006. PAS/PEL clarified that so far, the Administration had not been officially informed about the completion date of the Lingdingyang Crossing. The Administration had been notified by the Zhuhai authorities that an item for more detailed investigation of the Crossing had been created
but a definite completion date had yet to be set.

13. A member opined that being a Special Administrative Region with a high degree of autonomy, Hong Kong should be in a position to make independent decisions on its road networking systems based on the needs of the community. The schedule of implementation of road projects should not be dictated by the completion schedule of projects on the other side of the border. He urged the Administration to take a more proactive approach in encouraging public participation in designing a road system to facilitate traffic flow throughout Hong Kong, in particular, in the North West New Territories instead of just focusing on cross-boundary traffic. In this respect, members raised queries on the routing of Route 10 at the Lantau Island.

14. PAS/PEL explained in response that the Administration would work out the schedule of implementation of the Route 10 project on the basis of traffic projections covered by stage 1 of the Crosslinks Further Study which was due for completion by late 1998. He stressed that the proposed routing of Route 10, apart from easing cross boundary traffic, was designed to meet traffic demand generated from new developments in the North West New Territories and Lantau, in particular the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, North Lantau New Town and the Lantau Port Peninsula.

15. DHy supplemented that Route 10 would interconnect with other major trunk roads in Yuen Long and Tuen Mun in easing traffic flow from the New Territories to the Metro areas. A number of studies, including feasibility studies, Environmental Impact Assessment and engineering requirement studies were being undertaken and they would take into account the findings of the Crosslinks Study. The results of these studies would be carefully analyzed with a view to working out a suitable route that would best serve the needs of the community.

16. On a member's enquiry about the interchange of Route 10 with Yuen Long Highway, DHy advised that the location had yet to be decided pending the outcome of the feasibility study. The Principal Assistant Secretary for Transport added that the Administration would consult District Boards on the exact location and the number of interchange points.

17. There being no other business, the meeting ended at 11:50 am.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
16 March 1998

*.. also members of the Transport Panel