Following is a question by the Hon Yiu Si-wing and a reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, in the Legislative Council today (January 30):
The boundary control point (BCP) at Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai (the new BCP) connecting Hong Kong and Shenzhen East is expected to be completed and commissioned within this year. By then, it will be more convenient for residents of Guangdong and Hong Kong to visit each other and cross-boundary freight transport. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the latest progress of the construction works for and the expected commissioning date of the new BCP; the respective maximum daily numbers of cross-boundary vehicle trips and passenger trips that can be handled by the new BCP, as well as the expected impact of the commissioning of this BCP on the utilisation rates of the various existing land BCPs;
(2) whether it will set different restrictions for different classes of vehicles on using the new BCP; if so, of the details; and
(3) whether it has assessed the changes in the volume of vehicular flow and pedestrian flow as well as the demand for public transport services (e.g. feeder bus services) in the nearby areas after the commissioning of the new BCP; if so, of the outcome; if not, the reasons for that?
Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point (the new BCP) is one of the major co-operation projects among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao stated in the National 12th Five-Year Plan's dedicated chapter on Hong Kong and Macao. It is one of the key infrastructures to strengthen the cross-boundary transport connectivity within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area), which can provide Hong Kong with more room for development, foster the flow of people and goods, and promote economic development and regional cooperation under the "one-hour living circle" in the Greater Bay Area. The new BCP will facilitate smooth and efficient people and cargo flows across the boundary, and will play an important strategic role in supporting Hong Kong's long-term economic growth.
Currently, all cross-boundary traffic going from the eastern New Territories to the eastern Shenzhen and Guangdong has to travel through busy local roads in Hong Kong and Shenzhen via the two existing boundary control points at Man Kam To and Sha Tau Kok before joining the highway systems, affecting the convenience of people and cargo flows across the boundary. To address this problem, we are constructing an approximately 11km long dual two-lane connecting road (Connecting Road) on the Hong Kong side of the new BCP, to link the new BCP with the Fanling Highway interchange, via Sha Tau Kok Road, Ping Yeung and Lin Ma Hang Road interchanges, thereby improving the traffic in the North District, alleviating the busy traffic conditions in the area of Sha Tau Kok and Ta Kwu Ling, and facilitating long-term development of the North District. The new BCP on the Shenzhen side will connect with the Shenzhen Eastern Corridor to Longgang, whence to the eastern part of Guangdong Province via the Shenzhen-Huizhou Expressway (also known as Huizhou-Yantian Expressway) or the Shenzhen-Shantou Expressway, thereby providing a direct and efficient cross-boundary access between Hong Kong and eastern Shenzhen, Huizhou as well as eastern Guangdong, and greatly reducing the travelling time between Hong Kong/Shenzhen and eastern Guangdong.
The new BCP will be the seventh land-based control points on the Shenzhen-Hong Kong boundary, and will have direct access facilities for both passengers and vehicles. The public may take public transport, private cars or walk through the pedestrian subway to reach the new BCP for immigration clearance. Apart from the Departure Hall and the Arrival Hall, there will be a Public Transport Interchange, pick up/drop off areas for private cars and a public car park with 415 parking spaces inside the Passenger Terminal Building. Besides, there will be a pedestrian subway linking the new BCP with the adjacent Lin Ma Hang Road so that the public can directly access the Passenger Terminal Building on foot. The new BCP is designed to handle 17 850 vehicle trips and 30 000 passenger trips daily, and will help re-distribute the cross-boundary traffic amongst the land-based control points in the east, alleviating the busy conditions in the existing control points.
Having consulted relevant policy bureaux and departments, I provide a consolidated reply to the three parts of the Hon Yiu Si-wing's question as follows:
(1) The construction project for the new BCP comprises various major items of works, including reprovisioning of Chuk Yuen Village and the border patrol road, improvement of Shenzhen River, site formation, construction of the Connecting Road, the new BCP buildings and associated facilities. Regarding the latest works progress, reprovisioning of Chuk Yuen Village was basically completed in 2012, while the reprovisioning of border patrol road and improvement of Shenzhen River were completed in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Meanwhile, construction of the Connecting Road is about 97 per cent complete, and is in the final testing and commissioning stage; construction of the New BCP buildings is about 85 per cent complete, and the subsequent equipment installation and testing and commissioning works have already commenced. We strive to complete the construction of the new BCP this year, while the commissioning schedule for the new BCP will be confirmed through ongoing coordination between the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The latest progress of the major items of works under the new BCP project is shown in Annex 1.
The design daily handling capacity of the new BCP is 30 000 passengers and 17 850 vehicles. When the new BCP is commissioned, it will help redistribute the cross-boundary traffic among the control points in the east, and enhance the overall handling capacity of the control points in the east. According to the projections made during the planning stage, we forecast that at the early stage after commissioning the new BCP, the daily passenger and vehicular flows through the new BCP will be about 17 500 and 7 700 respectively. For the two nearby existing control points (i.e. Sha Tau Kok and Man Kam To), the total daily passenger and vehicular flows will be lowered by about 18 per cent and 26 per cent respectively, benefited from the traffic redistribution.
(2) The new BCP is designed and constructed according to the idea of "direct access to people and vehicles". Apart from taking the local public transport services, like franchised buses, green minibuses and taxis, the public can also access the new BCP by private cars. As regards cross-boundary traffic, the governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong are now dealing with the quota arrangement for different categories of cross-boundary vehicles to travel between Hong Kong and Guangdong via the new BCP, including cross-boundary coaches, hire cars, private cars and goods vehicles, so as to meet the different traffic demands of passengers and goods delivery trade.
(3) At the investigation and detailed design stages of the new BCP project, we conducted traffic impact assessments to assess the traffic and transport impacts of the new BCP on the nearby road network. As the new BCP project will provide the new Connecting Road to connect the new BCP with the Fanling Highway, it is anticipated that after commissioning of the new Connecting Road, most of the vehicles travelling between Hong Kong and Guangdong through the New BCP will not use the existing road network in the North District. Therefore, commissioning of the new BCP will not cause significant impact on the traffic in North District. Besides, it is anticipated that part of the existing traffic along Sha Tau Kok Road will be diverted to the new Connecting Road for access to Fanling Highway, thus improving the traffic conditions along Sha Tau Kok Road.
Having considered various factors like the new BCP's geographical location, road and public transport networks, and new demands for public transport services, we have planned appropriate public transport services to facilitate the public's use of the new BCP conveniently, upon its commissioning. Local public transport services under planning include three franchised bus routes (via Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Sha Tin, Tai Po, Sheung Shui and Fanling areas), one green minibus route (to and from Sheung Shui MTR Station), coach services for group tourists, and taxi (including urban and New Territories taxis) services. Besides, to ensure that the operators for the three franchised bus routes can handle not only the anticipated demand but also a sudden surge in demand, the Transport Department will take into account the capability of the operators in handling sudden surge in demand when selecting the operators.
LCQ3 Annex 1
Ends/Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Issued at HKT 16:35