Provisional Legislative Council
Panel on Security
Extension of Operating Hours of the Cross-Boundary Checkpoints
Before end 1994, the Man Kam To and Lok Ma Chau Crossings were open from 7:00am to 10:00pm while the Sha Tau Kok Crossing was open from 7:00am to 6:00pm. Following a review, the opening hours of Lok Ma Chau Crossing have since November 1994 been extended to 24 hours each day for goods vehicles to spread the flow of traffic and to match the 24-hour opening of container terminals in Kwai Chung. We are also closely monitoring the traffic volume of the Man Kam To and Sha Tua Kok Crossing to see if it is necessary to extend its operating hours.
2.At present, around 26,000 vehicles cross the Hong Kong/Shenzhen boundary at Man Kam To, Sha Tau Kok and Lok Ma Chau each day.
3.The Man Kam To crossing was opened on 1 July 1980. It provides the most direct access to Shenzhen City Centre, handling about 9,000 vehicles per day. Of these, 93% are goods vehicles and container trucks, the remainder being coaches and private cars.
4.The Sha Tau Kok crossing has been operating since 1 March 1985, connecting Hong Kong with Shenzhen east. The crossing is open to goods vehicles, container trucks, coaches, private cars, and hire cars. Throughput is about 2,000 vehicles per day, of which 74% are goods vehicles and container trucks.
5.The Lok Ma Chau crossing commenced operation on 29 December 1989, providing a link to Shenzhen west. Vehicular throughput is about 15,000 per day with 92% being goods vehicles and container trucks and the remainder being coaches, private cars and hire cars.
6.All the crossing points, with the exception of Lok Ma Chau which operates round-the-clock, now open at 7:00 am. Man Kam To closes at 10:00 pm, and Sha Tau Kok at 6:00 pm.
7.The Lo Wu railway crossing is probably the busiest single crossing point in the world. On an average, over 150,000 passengers cross the border through Lo Wu each day. Every day, more than 340 passenger trains run between Lo Wu and Hung Hom. In addition, there are 12 through-trains running daily between Hong Kong and the mainland.
8.Statistics on traffic volume at the four crossing points are in the Annex attached. The volume of traffic is very heavy at the moment, particularly at peak hours. We have provided resources to strengthen staffing to reduce congestion at these times.
Extension of Opening Hours
9.The Administration is continuously improving the services at the crossing points. Where necessary, the Administration will discuss the issue through the Cross Boundary Liaison System with our counterparts in the mainland to review the situation and to consider ways of enhancing the capacity of the crossing points. The possibility of extending the closing hour of Lo Wu by one hour has been raised at the working level and its feasibility is being considered.
10.In considering proposals to extend the operating hours of crossing points, the following factors have to be taken into account -
- justifications of the proposal;
- traffic flow pattern;
- availability of resources to staff and operate the checkpoints;
- availability of supporting public transport services; and
- compatibility of operating hours on the mainland side of the boundary.
11.The Administration is monitoring the situation and will study the feasibility of extending the operating hours of the crossing points as appropriate.