Following is a question by the Hon Chan Yuen-han and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (February 26):
The Anderson Road Public Housing Development and the Development of Anderson Road Quarry site are in progress and will take in their first batch of residents in 2015/2016 and 2022/2023 respectively. Upon completion of these two projects, the population of Kwun Tong will increase by 73 000. Yet, some members in the community opine that the relevant transport planning fails to tie in with such developments, and are therefore concerned that the traffic congestion problem in Kwun Tong will worsen further. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) as some residents have pointed out that although the junction of New Clear Water Bay Road and Lee On Road has been open for public use upon the completion of the extension works there, the traffic congestion problem of the district has not improved, whether the authorities have assessed the relevant traffic flows and congestion situations at the relevant road sections before and after the completion of the said works; if they have, of the details such as the data about the traffic flows of the relevant roads during peak hours and non-peak hours;
(2) given that the section of Clear Water Bay Road adjacent to Choi Hung Estate cannot be widened due to insufficient space, and Choi Hung Estate has been completed for some 52 years, whether the Government will conduct studies on the redevelopment of Choi Hung Estate to release some land for the purpose of widening the relevant road section, thereby alleviating the traffic congestion situation there; if it will, of the details; if not, any proposal the authorities have in place to extend the relevant road section;
(3) of the impact of the two aforesaid development projects on the traffic flows of the major roads in Kowloon East from 2017 to 2022 (including the data about the traffic flows during peak hours and non-peak hours) as estimated by the authorities; and
(4) whether it will further raise the maximum plot ratio of the residential site in the Development of Anderson Road Quarry site; if it will, whether it has assessed the impact of the additional population on the traffic loads in Kwun Tong District; if it will not, of the reasons for that?
As one of the measures under the Government's multi-pronged strategy for increasing land supply, the development of Anderson Road Quarry (ARQ) site is expected to provide a total of about 9 410 private and public residential units accommodating a planned population of about 25 000. In connection with the proposed ARQ development, we have consulted the Kwun Tong and Sai Kung District Councils (DCs), the Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Development and the Public Works Sub-committee. In-principle support has been obtained from Members, and funding for commencing the detailed design and site investigation works was also approved by the LegCo Finance Committee on February 21 this year.
The Government is aware of the concerns expressed by some Members and locals about the potential traffic impacts to be brought about by the ARQ development on Kwun Tong. According to the traffic impact assessment (TIA) conducted in relation to the ARQ development, upon implementation of a series of road/junction improvement works, pedestrian linkage facilities as well as public transport connection services recommended under the proposed development, the ARQ development will only have limited impact on the traffic of Kwun Tong town centre. The TIA also pointed out that part of the traffic flow of the Clear Water Bay Road will be absorbed by Route 6 upon its completion, and the traffic capacity released will be adequate to accommodate the traffic flow generated by the ARQ development. Besides, the traffic situation of Kwun Tong town centre is expected to improve after completion of the redevelopment project.
That said, the Government will closely monitor the traffic situation of Kwun Tong and continue to examine measures for improving the traffic within the relevant areas.
After consultation with the Transport and Housing Bureau, my consolidated reply to the four-part question is as follows:
(1) According to the findings of the TIA conducted by the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) for the Anderson Road Public Housing Development, the capacity of the New Clear Water Bay Road/Lee On Road junction was close to saturation in 2007 during peak hours, and the traffic volume during the afternoon peak hours exceeded its capacity. The traffic situation has already improved after the junction widening works were completed in 2012. According to the latest TIA findings for the ARQ development, the remaining capacities of the junction during morning and afternoon peak hours in 2013, being 12 per cent and 22 per cent respectively, were within the acceptable levels.
(2) To alleviate the traffic congestion at the Choi Hung Interchange (CHI) during peak hours, the Transport Department (TD) has proposed short-term traffic improvement measures which include extending the public light bus (PLB) loading/unloading bay at the westbound Clear Water Bay Road near CHI in order to smoothen the flow of PLB entering the stop bay, and changing the road markings to regulate the lane changing action of vehicles to ensure unimpeded traffic flow, so as to alleviate the traffic congestion situation. TD has consulted the Kwun Tong and Wong Tai Sin DCs on these proposals, and is considering the views received for revising and refining the scheme. TD will continue to liaise with the DCs for implementation of the improvement measures.
In the medium term, the traffic situation of the major roads parallel with Route 6, including Tseung Kwan O Road, Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong Bypass and CHI within the Kwun Tong district, will improve significantly after Route 6, which is now under design, is commissioned.
In the long term, it is possible that large-scale road improvement measures (e.g. construction of an underpass or flyovers, etc.) would be necessary for CHI due to the actual growth of traffic at the road network. The construction would involve land resumption of certain areas from the Choi Hung Estate. TD will conduct a preliminary investigation on the measures to ascertain their effectiveness in traffic improvement, so as to come up with feasible proposals for implementation when the opportunity arises upon redevelopment of the Choi Hung Estate.
Regarding the redevelopment of Choi Hung Estate, the Housing Authority (HA) currently has no concrete plan or timetable. Nevertheless, the Government is aware of the old age of Choi Hung Estate and the demand of residents, and will continue to keep the redevelopment programme of public housing estates under review. In considering the redevelopment of individual public housing estates, HA will need to take into account the structural safety and cost effectiveness in repair works, as well as build-back potential and availability of suitable rehousing resources. Moreover, HA will conduct a series of detailed feasibility studies on redevelopment, having regard to the specific site characteristics and developable area in the vicinity of individual aged estates. HA will also liaise with the relevant bureaux and departments on various supporting facilities and infrastructure in the districts concerned. Upon completion of the relevant studies, HA will be able to confirm the development potential and feasibility of redeveloping individual housing estates and draw up the implementation programme. Local consultation will then be carried out prior to further implementation.
(3) In the TIA conducted under the engineering feasibility study for the ARQ development by CEDD, the traffic assessment data used in the earlier planning study, including the projected increase in population under the ARQ development and the Anderson Road Public Housing Development, has been updated. The TIA findings indicate that, by 2026, with the completion of a series of road/junction improvement works and pedestrian linkage facilities recommended under the proposed development and the entire Route 6 project, the traffic situation on the major roads of Kowloon East during peak hours will still be acceptable without exceeding the capacity.
Based on the road planning for the ARQ development, most of the traffic flow generated by the developments within the site will be directed to the existing trunk roads in order to bypass Kwun Tong town centre and the roads in its vicinity. According to the relevant TIA, it is expected that during morning peak hours, about 69 per cent of the traffic flow generated by the ARQ development will make use of the southern access roads connecting to Po Lam Road, and about two-thirds of this flow will route through Po Lam Road and Sau Mau Ping Road into the southbound lanes of Tseung Kwan O Road for access to various districts. Moreover, improvements are foreseen in the east-west traffic movements in the major road networks in urban Kowloon upon completion of Route 6. By then, there will be a significant reduction in the Kowloon-bound traffic of the Tseung Kwan O Tunnel, thus effectively releasing part of the capacity of the Tseung Kwan O Tunnel Road and Tseung Kwan O Road to cater for the traffic flow generated by the ARQ development.
As regards the remaining approximately 31 per cent of the traffic flow arising from the ARQ development, vehicles are expected to make use of the northern roads linking with Clear Water Bay Road, and the great majority of them will route through the westbound lanes of the Clear Water Bay Road for access to various districts. As mentioned above, upon completion, Route 6 will absorb part of the traffic flow of Clear Water Bay Road, and the traffic capacity released will be adequate to accommodate the traffic flow generated by the ARQ development.
The data of the TIA on the vehicular flow of major roads in Kowloon East during peak hours are set out in the Annex. As the objective of the TIA is to assess the traffic impact arising from the ARQ development, the assessment has only taken into account the traffic condition in 2026 upon completion of the development and the residential intake. As with past practice, since the vehicular flow of non-peak-hours is far less than that of peak hours, the TIA does not contain data of non-peak-hours.
(4) The planned population of the ARQ development has been increased from the original 23 000 proposed in the Stage 2 Community Engagement of the planning study to the currently proposed 25 000. We consider that a planned population of 25 000 is appropriate at this stage, having regard to the following considerations:
(a) the planning and design principles that were generally welcomed by the public in the previous two-stage community engagement exercise;
(b) the need to reserve an additional school site due to the increase in planned population arising from a higher plot ratio for the proposed residential sites, thereby affecting the overall planning and resulting in a lower planned population; and
(c) the need to conduct another round of technical assessments in the light of an increase in development intensity and planned population, and to further consult the local community and stakeholders concerned, which would in turn affect the implementation programme.
Ends/Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:31