The traffic congestion in North District has become more severe in recent times. This has a major effect on district residents and exposes the fact that the road facilities in the district have been inadequate for some time. The effectiveness of various contingency measures is also far from satisfactory. Therefore, the DAB Legislative Councilors Lau Kwok-Fan and Gary Chan as well as Director-General of the HKFTU New Territories East Office Bill Tang and North District Councilors Warwick Wan, Yiu Ming, Wong Wang-To and Tsang Hing-Lung, alongside DAB community organizers met with the Transport Department Assistant Commissioner Irene Ho and the New Territories North Traffic of the Hong Kong Police Robert John MComie to discuss the issue.
Our Legislative Councilors first raised questions on the serious congestion incident on November 23. According to the police report, a total of 11 traffic accidents occurred during that time period and it was very hard to deploy manpower. The Transport Department said that it had publically broadcast the congestion as soon as possible in order to prevent the congestion from spreading. Lau Kwok-Fan said that the accidents on November 23 were caused by a chain reaction and that if the police had been able to act quickly, the number of accidents could have been reduced. The police agreed that they needed to improve the training of frontline officers on handling traffic accidents and to improve their efficiency in this area.
In the short term, the police promised that they will have at least two police officers stationed at Kai Leng and the Tai Tau Leng Roundabouts each day from 3 to 7 PM and closely monitor the situation on the road and deal with any sudden problems quickly. The Transport Department said that it would consider adding yellow boxes and double yellow lines to traffic congestion hot spots in North District and therefore improve the problem of illegal parking. Participants agreed with the measure of police officers stationed at the two roundabouts, however they should implement the measure during the morning rush hour as well, as the need is the same.
In the medium term, the Transport Department said that it will carry out the enhancement work at Kai Leng and Tai Tau Leng Roundabout as soon as possible and thereby improve traffic flow. In the long term, Lau Kwok-Fan feels that a lot of proposals have been made in the past including re-routing Pak Wo Road near Wo Hing Village and Wo Hop Shek Village to the Fanling Highway towards Yuen Long, adding a new road link at the Tai Tau Leng Roundabout that heads to Yuen Long, building a flyover across the Kai Leng Roundabout that links two ends of the So Kwun Po Road and so on. He hopes that the Transport Department can proactively study the feasibility of these projects. In conclusion, Bill Tang said that he hopes the Transport Department will provide more information to Legislative and District Councilors alike to study, and work together to provide a decisive solution to the severe problems of traffic congestion in North District.
Legislative Councilor Lau Kwok-Fan (9782-7408)
Legislative Councilor Gary Chan (7770-0829)
Director-General of the HKFTU New Territories East Office Bill Tang (5925-1029)