on 15 January 1998
Paper for discussion at the Panel on Transport and Panel on Planning, Lands and Works of the
Provisional Legislative Council
Route 10 - North Lantau to Yuen Long Highway
In discussing paper PWSC(97-98)72 on 519TH " Route 10 - North Lantau to Yuen Long Highway " (Route 10 (NL-YLH)), members of the Public Works Subcommittee asked the Administration to brief panel members on the proposed development of the route including information on areas where population would concentrate.
2.We included Route 10 (NL-YLH) to Category B in August 1997 at an estimated cost of $21,775 million. We plan to start the investigation and preliminary design works in March 1998 for completion in August 2000. We intend to commence construction works in 2002 for completion in 2007.
3.In December 1997, Finance Committee's approved the part upgrading of the investigation and preliminary design for Route 10 (NL-YLH) to Category A at an estimated cost of $353.8 million in money-of-the-day prices. The study will establish more precisely its land requirements, as well as the environmental, marine, drainage, traffic and other impacts on the affected areas. Such information will be essential for the preparation of detailed plans and scheme for gazettal under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance during the subsequent detailed design stage. In addition, we need to further investigate the alignment and design capacity of the northern section of the route to ensure its compatibility with new cross boundary road links planned under the Crosslinks Further Study.
TRAFFIC JUSTIFICATION OF THE ROUTE
4.Route 10 (NL-YLH) will form a second road crossing between Lantau and the north-western New Territories (NWNT). It connects Yuen Long South to Northeast Lantau via So Kwun Wat and Tsing Lung Tau. A site plan is at the Annex. It forms part of the future Western Highway which also include Deep Bay Link, the Lantau Port Expressway and Green Island sections of Route 10, Route 7 from Kennedy Town to Aberdeen.
5.We intend to build Route 10 (NL-YLH) to meet the future traffic demand generated between the new developments on Lantau, in particular the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, North Lantau New Town, the Lantau Port Peninsula and those in the NWNT. The Updating of the Second Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS-2 Update) recommended that this crossing should be in place by 2006. Without this second crossing, the capacity of Lantau Link and Ting Kau Bridge will be exceeded. The route will also serve as an alternative road link between Lantau and the rest of the territory in the event of closure of the Lantau Link.
6.The Feasibility Study for Route 10 (NL-YLH) indicated that a number of strategic routes within the NWNT, including the Country Park Section of Route 3, the section of Tuen Mun Road east of So Kwun Wat, and Yuen Long Highway will be operating at or beyond their capacity by 2001. The study therefore recommended extending the route northwest-ward towards Yuen Long to relieve the forecast traffic congestion.
PLANNING FOR POPULATION AND EMPLOYMENT GROWTH ALONG THE ROUTE
7.There are two major sources of traffic demand impacting on the Route 10 (NL-YLH) -
POPULATION AND EMPLOYMENT
- traffic related to population and employment growth; and
- traffic generated by cross-boundary activities.
8.In terms of population distribution along the North Lantau to Yuen Long Highway section of Route 10, the major concentration of population would be in the NWNT. The existing population in the NWNT is in the region of 0.80 million (1996 By-census). It is envisaged that the population in the sub-region could increase to 1.4 million by 2011. The additional population growth mainly comprises two components: the committed developments under existing plans and programmes; and strategic growth proposed under the Territorial Development Strategy Review (TDSR). The committed development can accommodate some 0.39 million which are mainly concentrated in the new towns of Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai, and the sub-urban areas in Tuen Mun - Yuen Long Corridor, Kam Tin, Tan Kwai Tsuen and Lam Tei. The strategic growth comprises 0.21 million which are additional developments above the committed developments identified under the TDSR to meet the housing need by 2011. Three main strategic growth areas (SGA) for residential development have been initially identified in NWNT, namely Au Tau/Kam Tin, Yuen Long South and Tuen Mun-Yuen Long Corridor, to accommodate an additional population of 100,000 in the medium term (in next 10 years) and another 110,000 in the long term (next 15 years).
9.The NWNT is also proposed under the TDSR as a potential area for new employment with possible business estates and office nodes at Au Tau/Yuen Long and Hung Shui Kiu. Tuen Mun West (Area 38) will provide the fourth industrial estate in the territory. It is estimated that the committed developments would provide 0.29 million jobs and the proposed strategic growth would provide another 0.15 million jobs to bring the total number of jobs in the NWNT to 0.44 million by year 2011 as compared to 0.19 million jobs currently existing. In view of the proximity to the Mainland, the NWNT offers opportunities for development into a business/activity centre to cater for the cross-boundary trade and business, one such opportunity being near San Tin/Lok Ma Chau. The existing concentration of business activities in Yuen Long Town, Yuen Long Industrial Estate and Tuen Mun and Tin Shui Wai new towns will remain as employment nodes in the NWNT.
10.The strategic growth areas in the NWNT are now subject to an integrated Planning and Development Study which has commenced in October 1997 for completion in February 2000. Apart from formulating the scope and scale of development in the SGAs and establishing their engineering feasibility, other development opportunity areas in the sub-region, namely, San Tin, Lok Ma Chau, Ngau Tam Mei, Pat Heng, Shek Kong and Pak Nai will also be examined in the study. As part of the study, the development capacity of the sub-region will be established and a pool of development reserves will be made to meet longer term growth needs. The proposed Route 10 (NL-YLH) will greatly enhance the development opportunity of the NWNT.
11.In Northeast Lantau, Route 10 (NL-YLH) will land at Kwei Shek and run towards the Port Peninsula, ending at Lantau Port Expressway Interchange. Since the 1989 Port and Airport Development Strategy, the Lantau Port Peninsula and Northshore Lantau has been planned for port and port-related facilities. Subsequent development studies for the area have recommended, in addition to the development of container terminals and back-up areas at the Port Peninsula and Penny's Bay Reclamation, the provision of a river trade terminal, onshore back-up facilities for floating docks, a mid-stream site and a public cargo working area at Northshore Lantau.
12.Further land use proposals have been identified in the TDSR which sees the opportunities for the development of a major employment centre in Northeast Lantau by the provision of a business estate and/or industrial estate. Apart from the employment-related uses, Northeast Lantau has also been recommended for the development of a gateway park which together with other proposed attractions in Tsing Yi and Ma Wan, could form a new tourism node in the territory. Besides, the area also offers opportunities for low density residential developments at suitable locations, e.g. Tsing Chau Tsai headland. In the forthcoming Northshore Lantau Development Feasibility Study, the various land use proposals for Northshore Lantau and Penny's Bay Reclamation will be fully reviewed with a view to recommending a preferred land use scheme. The Study is scheduled to commence in April 1998 and complete in late 1999.
Cross Boundary Traffic
13.Trans-boundary vehicular traffic has been growing at a rapid rate in line with the rapid economic development of the Pearl River Delta Region. The average daily vehicle flow between Hong Kong and the Mainland has increased almost threefold in the past 10 years. Route 10 (NL-YLH) will form part of the strategic road network to accommodate the increasing cross-boundary traffic, including that which might possibly arise if the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Western Corridor and the Lingdingyang Bridge as proposed by the Mainland authorities were implemented. The feasibility of the additional cross-boundary links is currently being investigated, with the aid of consultants, focusing on the establishment of the future cross-boundary traffic demand, and the examination of the environmental and ecological impacts, land use planning, land acquisition requirements, and the economic/financial viability and preliminary engineering feasibility of the crosslink projects.
14.We will consult the relevant District Boards and the Advisory Council on the Environment when we have finalised the preliminary design of Route 10 (NL-YLH).
15.The Director of Environmental Protection vetted the Preliminary Environmental Review (PER) for Route 10 (NL-YLH) which we completed in April 1997. The PER concluded that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is necessary to identify mitigation measures and to confirm the environmental acceptability of Route 10 (NL-YLH). The preliminary findings of an EIA carried out under the Feasibility Study show that traffic noise at the So Kwun Wat area is a major issue. We will address this issue in detail in the EIA study to be undertaken as part of Route 10 (NL-YLH) and resolve the problem in accordance with existing Government policies. We shall incorporate all mitigation measures identified into the detailed design of the project.
16.The precise location and amount of land affected by Route 10 (NL-YLH) can only be known after the completion of the preliminary design. However, we envisage Route 10 (NL-YLH) will require land resumption and clearances in the districts of Tsuen Wan at Tsing Lung Tau, Tuen Mun at So Kwun Wat and Yuen Long. In keeping with the existing practice, we shall arrange for the usual compensation and necessary arrangements.
Transport Bureau and Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau