Legislative Council Panel on Transport
Third Comprehensive Transport Study
This paper informs Members of the progress regarding the public consultation exercise for the Third Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS-3).
2. The Transport Panel was briefed on 8 November 1996 on the scope of the CTS-3. The scope of the Study is to assess our future transport needs and provide broad parameters for the long-term development of transport infrastructure; for the expansion of public transport services; and for setting our transport management objectives for the next 20 years.
3. CTS-3 intends to develop four major policy initiatives namely:
- to provide transport infrastructure in a more timely manner in order to meet anticipated demand from strategic growth areas;
- to accord priority to railways;
- to enhance further coordination and integration between different public transport modes; and
- to rationalise and manage traffic demand more cost effectively through the application of new technologies.
We consider it useful to have public views on the above major transport initiatives so that such views could be taken into account in the detailed recommendations before they are finalised in 1999.
4. To this end, we launched a month long public consultation exercise in June 1998. Ten consultative meetings were held with interested parties including advisory bodies and professional institutions. A list of bodies with which consultative meetings were held is at the Annex. Over forty written submissions have been received from various bodies and individuals.
Major Comments and Suggestions Received
5. Public views are generally supportive of the four new initiatives outlined above. The salient points of the comments and suggestions received during the consultation are outlined below.
Timely Provision of Transport Infrastructure
6. Most consultees supported a more timely provision of transport infrastructure in order to cope with land use developments. Some expressed interest on how the proposed trigger-point mechanism, which would help define the most appropriate time at which the detailed planning, design and construction processes for infrastructure projects should commence, would work. Others suggested to set criteria for trigger points, e.g. the maximum travel time between major activity or population centres. Consultees agreed that the trigger-point mechanism should only supplement but not replace professional judgment.
7. The concept of the trigger-point mechanism is being carefully examined in CTS-3 with a view to defining when a particular project should be initiated and the timing of the various stages in the implementation process. Appropriate indicators such as population or employment thresholds are being developed for the purpose.
According Priority to Railways
8. Most consultees supported the initiative to accord priority to railways. CTS-3 would examine the economic and environmental impacts of various measures designed to complement the initiative of giving priority to railways. These measures will include park and ride schemes and bus-rail service rationalization. CTS-3 would ensure that a balance would be struck between according priority to railways and meeting other public transport needs. Consultees also recognised that development of a comprehensive railway network was more important than simply looking at individual railway proposals. Some consultees pointed out that trunk railway services should be supported by adequate feeder services in order to enhance their accessibility and to maximise their use.
Better Coordination and Integration of Public Transport Services
9. Most consultees supported the initiative of enhancing further coordination and integration between various public transport modes. However, some indicated that separate franchises for different modes might render inter-modal coordination difficult. It was generally recognised that mass carriers such as MTR and KCR should assume the role to provide trunk service.
10. CTS-3 would use model test runs to quantify the benefits that might be derived from different levels of service integration and coordination, particularly regarding improvement of feeder services to rail and reduction in bus-rail service duplication along major corridors.
11. As regards road-based transport, consultees supported the principle of according priority to efficient road users such as franchised buses. Among the various traffic management measures that will give priority to public transport modes, CTS-3 would examine the impact of bus-only-lanes on the overall transport and road system.
12. Consultees were also supportive of the suggestion that franchised bus should play an important role in providing both trunk and feeder service. Views regarding the roles of Public Light Bus, residential coach, tram, ferry and taxi varied. CTS-3 would identify and examine, through demand model test runs, the future role changes that public transport modes could be expected to encounter.
Application of New Technologies in Traffic Management
13. Consultees' views on the application of information and telecommunications technologies in traffic management were positive. CTS-3 would conduct a literature search to identify advanced telematics systems covering both road and public transport currently in use or under development elsewhere. A qualitative assessment would be provided with recommendations on their possible application in the SAR context.
14. Although views regarding fiscal restraint on private vehicles were mixed, most consultees preferred usage restraint to ownership restraint if fiscal restraint was considered necessary. Taking into account the projected vehicle growth and the capacity of existing and committed road networks, CTS-3 would examine the need for fiscal measures on vehicle restraints. The feasibility of introducing Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) is the subject of a separate study and a public consultation exercise on ERP will be held around April 1999.
Interface between CTS-3 and Second Railway Development Study(RDS-2)
15. CTS-3 and RDS-2 have been closely co-ordinated in order to ensure that the two sets of input assumptions were compatible. Major rail corridors identified in CTS-3 would be studied in greater detail by RDS-2.
The Way forward
16. Preparatory works necessary for conducting the main transport model analyses of CTS-3 have been completed. Initial transport model runs which would help establish the broad transport requirements for the future years have been completed. These requirements will be fed into the main model runs for more detailed analyses in the next few months. Recommendations will then be finalised taking into account views collated in the public consultation exercise and the findings of the main model runs.
17. The study is expected to be completed in mid 1999.