Provisional Legislative Council Panel on Transport
Feasibility Study of Inter-district Bus-only Lanes
This paper provides an update on the progress of the feasibility study on inter-district bus-only lanes (BOL) and the trial scheme between Aberdeen and Wanchai.Background
2. In August 1996, a consultancy study was commissioned to investigate, plan, design and evaluate the feasibility of inter-district BOL as a means to improve public transport services in the territory. Six major inter-district traffic corridors which are heavily used by buses and form vital links between homes and work places have been identified for investigation. They are -
- Aberdeen - Wanchai - Central;
- Kwun Tong - To Kwa Wan/Hung Hom - Tsim Sha Tsui;
- Tseung Kwan O - Kwun Tong;
- Sheung Shui - Sha Tin - Tsim Sha Tsui;
- Tuen Mun - Kwai Chung - Tsim Sha Tsui; and
- Tsing Yi - Kwai Chung.
3. On 11 April 1997, Members of the then LegCo Transport Panel were informed of the progress on the study and the Administration's plan to try out a BOL scheme between Aberdeen and Wanchai by end of 1997. A supplementary Information Note about the trial was provided to the Panel in June 1997. The Aberdeen - Wanchai BOL Scheme
4. The Aberdeen - Wanchai BOL Scheme (the Scheme) has been revised taking into account views of public transport operators, relevant (Southorn and Wanchai) district boards and the public. Some road sections originally proposed for implementing bus-only lanes are now cancelled. The revised Scheme is being implemented in two stages as described below -
Stage 1 (Fig. 1) (Implemented on 23.8.97) -
Stage 2 - 2A (Fig. 2) (to be implemented by March 1998)
- Complete BOL in Aberdeen along Wong Chuk Hang Road;
- complete BOL in Wanchai along Morrison Hill Road;
- establish a new taxi stand at Sung Tak Street off Morrison Hill Road;
- widen a section of Morrison Hill Road to 3 lanes by reducing the centre island;
- divert 5 Southern District bus routes from Wan Chai Road westbound to Hennessy Road westbound; and
- rationalise bus stops along Morrison Hill Road and Hennessy Road.
2B (Fig. 3) (to be implemented by August 1998)
- Complete 3 sections of BOL along Hennessy Road westbound between Tin Lok Lane and Luard Road. Some boarding and alighting places are retained for PLBs and other vehicles along Hennessy Road;
- divert 6 Southern District bus routes from Hennessy Road eastbound to Fenwick Street southbound and Johnston Road eastbound; and
- rationalise bus stops along Hennessy Road and Johnston Road.
Performance of BOL in Stage 1
- Introduce a 24-hour bus only right turn on Hennessy Road eastbound to Canal Road BOL and relocate the associated two tram stops.
5. In order to assess the effectiveness of Stage 1 of the Scheme and its impact on other road users, 'Before' (May/June 97) and 'After' (September/October 97) surveys were conducted. The results are as follows -
Saving in Journey time for bus passengers
The average saving in journey time for the 5 diverted Southern District bus routes is 2.5 minutes during the morning peak hours.
Improvement in reliability of bus services
Percentage of bus arrivals within 1 minute of the scheduled times increases from 12.5% to 25.4%; that of bus arrivals within 2 minutes of the scheduled times increases from 34% to 47.5%.
Alleviation of congestion on Wanchai Road
Journey time of buses is reduced by 0.5 minutes in the morning peak hours and 1.1 minutes in the afternoon peak hours; journey time of other vehicles is reduced by 2 minutes in the morning peak hours.
6. Detailed figures are provided in Table 1 and Table 2 of Annex 1. With the implementation of complementary traffic management measures, the impact of BOL on other road users was reduced to the minimal. Boarding and alighting activities along the stretch of Morrison Hill Road affected by the BOL have moved to the nearby Lap Tak Lane and Sung Tak Street. There were only minor variations in vehicle journey time on other road users; detailed figures are presented in Table 2 of Annex 1.
7. The full benefit of the Aberdeen - Wanchai BOL Scheme can only be reflected after implementation of the whole of the scheme. To this end, we plan to conduct 'after' surveys upon completion of Stage 2A, in April/May 1998, and upon completion of Stage 2B, in September/October 1998.Public Reaction to Stage 1
8. There have been media reports on the smooth traffic flow in the related area and savings in journey times to bus passengers since the completion of Stage 1 of the Scheme. On the other hand, there have been concerns that the Scheme had adverse impacts on other road users. Six suggestions/complaints, detailed in Annex 2, have been received since the implementation of Stage 1. In light of public complaints, The section of BOL along Wong Chuk Hang Road westbound was shortened to reduce impact to other road users.Public Consultation for Stage 2A and 2B
9. There have been ongoing consultations with various transport operators, Southern and Wan Chai Provisional District Boards and the public. Views from the taxi trade, PLB and GMB associations, trucking industry and goods vehicles associations have also been solicited through Transport Department's regular meeting with these parties. The Scheme has been revised taken into account results of these consultations as described in paragraph 4.BOL for Other Corridors
10. Results of the whole Aberdeen - Wanchai BOL Scheme will serve as design reference of the other BOL corridors. Based on the experience gained from the Scheme, more time will be required to address strong concerns of other road users and transport operators. We schedule to conduct public consultation on the rest of the BOL proposals in April 1998 upon completion of the preliminary design by the Consultants, namely -
- Tseung Kwan O - Kwun Tong
- Sheung Shui - Sha Tin - Tsim Sha Tsui
- Tuen Mun - Kwai Chung - Tsim Sha Tsui
- Tsing Yi - Kwai Chung
As regards the Kwun Tong - Tsim Sha Tsui scheme, we would re-examine the scheme due to reservations of concerned district boards and traffic situation on Chatham Road South.