Following is a question by the Hon Frankie Yick and a reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (November 20):
Some members of the transport industry have relayed to me that as parking spaces for commercial vehicles (including coaches and articulated vehicles, etc.) are in short supply in various districts at present, such vehicles are forced to be parked in other districts or remote districts. The trips made by drivers to park and retrieve their vehicles are very time-consuming, incur extra fuel expenditure, add to the road traffic loads and cause air pollution. They have also pointed out that a site at King Yip Street in Kwun Tong was originally planned for the provision of a multi-storey car park for private cars and commercial vehicles, but the project was shelved as the departments concerned considered it not economical after assessment. The site has been left idle or leased on short-term leases for more than 10 years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) other than the aforesaid site, of the land lots that have been planned for use as sites for multi-storey car parks but the projects have yet to be implemented, and in respect of each of such land lots, the location, floor area of the proposed car park, the types and numbers of vehicles which can be parked there, the reasons why such projects have yet to be implemented, as well as the current position regarding the car park development projects;
(b) whether, in considering whether or not to implement a multi-storey car park project, the authorities will take into account, apart from the rate of return of the project, the overall benefits that the car park may bring to the community upon completion, including the possible resultant reduction in the social costs arising from indiscriminate parking of commercial vehicles; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(c) as I have learnt that several temporary car parks for commercial vehicles within the Kai Tak Development Area will cease operation following the progressive implementation of the Kai Tak Development, of the measures of the authorities to prevent the vehicles concerned from being forced to be parked indiscriminately on the roadside in future?
The Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) sets out the Government's guidelines for determining various land uses and facilities, as well as the requirements for deciding the scale and location of land uses and facilities. Chapter 8 of the HKPSG covers the standards and guidelines for various transport facilities, including public parking facilities (such as commercial vehicle parking).
Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) is responsible for planning and improving the transport infrastructure in Hong Kong. Under THB's charge, the Transport Department (TD) has been monitoring the demand and supply of commercial vehicle parking spaces in all districts across the territory, and keeping in touch with the District Councils and the industry in order to respond to the demand for commercial vehicle parking spaces through short and long-term measures. For short-term measures, the Government will provide on-street parking spaces and allow temporary car parks to operate at sites with no immediate development plans by means of short term tenancies (STTs), provided that these measures do not affect road safety and other road users. For long-term measures, the Government will plan car parking facilities in accordance with the HKPSG, such as requiring the provision of a specified number of commercial vehicle parking spaces in industrial/commercial building developments and zoning some sites for developing multi-storey car parks. Dedicated coach parking facilities should also be provided at or near major tourist attractions for serving as holding facilities for coaches waiting to pick up tour groups.
Regarding the question raised by the Hon Frankie Yick, I have consulted THB and my reply is as follows:
(a) There are five sites that have been planned as stand-alone car parks but are yet to be implemented in various districts of Hong Kong. Their details are set out at Annex. For the King Yip Street site, it is zoned for "Other Specified Use (Lorry Park)". THB indicates that since there is still surplus of parking spaces in Kwun Tong, and currently there is no plan to develop the site into a dedicated lorry park. A public car park is currently operating on the site by means of a STT, offering 74 and 140 parking spaces for lorries and private cars respectively.
(b) According to the HKPSG, when determining the appropriate level of provision of parking facilities, TD will consider the following factors: availability of public transport services in the vicinity; availability of public car park(s) in the vicinity; proximity to and quality of pedestrian access linking railway stations and other major public transport interchanges; traffic conditions of local road networks; and parking demand and supply condition in the vicinity. For any particular on-street location or off-street development, TD will consider all of the above factors and decide on the appropriate level of provision of parking facilities. THB will determine appeals, raised by other departments or agencies against the decision of the TD, if any.
Regarding the implementation of individual multi-storey public car parks for private vehicles and motor cycles, THB indicates that the Government will consider a number of factors, such as the demand and supply of car parks in that district (including the utilisation of indoor car parks in that district), the estimated utilisation rate of multi-storey car parks, the level of public support towards the proposed car park and whether the construction of multi-storey car park will induce more traffic flow and cause congestion, etc. In general, new multi-storey public car parks should be constructed by the private sector, where the building and operation of such public car park should be regarded as commercial decisions. However, in exceptional circumstances where there is a serious shortfall of parking spaces and private sector participation is not forthcoming, multi-storey public car parks may be developed through the public works programme. For better land utilisation, multi-storey public car parks should normally be incorporated as part of the joint user development.
(c) As mentioned in part (a) of the reply, some car-park projects in individual districts have not yet been implemented. If there are suitable sites in individual districts that have not been included in any long-term planning, the Lands Department (LandsD) may consider the views of TD in granting the sites for parking purpose by means of STTs. If such STT site is required for implementing long-term uses and TD confirms the need of car parking spaces in that district, LandsD will consider if there are alternative temporary sites suitable for parking purpose. Generally speaking, commercial vehicles will also make use of the on-street parking spaces.
With respect to the Kai Tak Development Area (the Area), TD has been monitoring the car parking situation. As we understand, there are currently four public car parks operating under STT within the Area, providing about 1600 parking spaces. In order to release the development potential and facilitate the district transformation of Kowloon East, the Energising Kowloon East Office of the Development Bureau is working closely with relevant departments to review the government sites within Kowloon East that have not been developed or put to optimal use. When considering any change of land use, the Government will explore different options to ensure sufficient public facilities to be reprovisioned or provided within the district when public facilities are involved (including lorry park(s)).
Ends/Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:02