LCQ2: Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao BridgeFollowing is a question by the Hon Wilson Or and a reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, in the Legislative Council today (January 24):
It has been reported that to better realise the benefits of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), the authorities of Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao are studying the introduction of a "park-and-ride" arrangement. Residents of the three places may, upon obtaining a one-off permit, drive a private car not issued with a vehicle licence for use in the place of destination to cross the boundary via HZMB, and park the car in a car park in the closed area of the boundary control point in the place of destination, and then change to local public transport together with other passengers on board after going through immigration clearance. On facilitating private cars to use HZMB, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the progress of the authorities' discussion with the authorities of Zhuhai and Macao on the aforesaid arrangement, and the consensus reached so far on the permitted duration of stay after entry, the quota and eligibility criteria for application for such permits, etc.;
(2) whether it will consider providing a car park in HZMB Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities for inbound private cars to dovetail with the implementation of the aforesaid arrangement; whether it knows the measures to be introduced by the authorities of Zhuhai and Macao to complement the aforesaid arrangement; if it does, of the details; and
(3) of the number of cross-boundary private cars issued with both Guangdong and Hong Kong vehicle licences in each of the past three years; whether it has discussed with the authorities of Macao the issuance of Macao vehicle licences for Hong Kong private cars; if so, of the details (including the quota and eligibility criteria for application); if not, the reasons for that?
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) is the first cross-boundary land-based connection among Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao. With the HZMB, the travelling time between Hong Kong and the Western Pearl River Delta Region will be reduced substantially and thereby bringing the Western Pearl River Delta Region into an area that is accessible from Hong Kong within 3 hours' drive. This will reduce the costs and time for the transportation of commuters and goods on roads. The HZMB will enhance the economic development and connections among the cities of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area (Bay Area), facilitate the movements of the people in the Bay Area, and have strategic significance for the development of both Hong Kong and the Bay Area.
To facilitate the traffic and enhance the usage of the HZMB, and maximise the economic and transport benefits of the HZMB, the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions have been actively studying and discussing the cross-boundary transport arrangements to meet the needs of local residents, travellers and trades of the three places. The three governments have already agreed to arrange different types of cross-boundary transport for travellers with various travel needs to travel to the three places using HZMB. We will also put in place a public transport interchange at the Hong Kong Port, providing different types of local public transport for travellers between Hong Kong Port and other districts in Hong Kong.
My consolidated reply to the Hon Wilson Or's question is as follows:
On the quote in the question that the three governments are studying the park-and-ride arrangements, according to information provided by the Mainland, the Zhuhai Port does not provide a carpark for inbound private cars, and the Mainland does not plan to offer a park-and-ride scheme for Hong Kong private cars at Zhuhai Port. As regards Hong Kong Port, according to the project design of the HZMB, there will be no inbound carpark upon the commissioning. The Civil Engineering and Development Department and the Planning Department are conducting a feasibility study for the topside development at Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities Island of the HZMB to explore how to optimise the land at the Hong Kong Port for topside and underground development for commercial and other economic land uses. Subject to the study results and land use, the government will proactively consider providing parking spaces (including the feasibility of inbound car park) at the topside development to meet the parking demand of Hong Kong residents and inbound visitors.
As regards Macao, there will be an inbound car park at the Macao Port providing around 3 800 parking spaces at maximum for Hong Kong private cars. Hong Kong private cars are not required to obtain quotas, but reservation of the parking space must be made in advance. After parking and completing immigration procedures at Macao Port, visitors may take other transportation to other areas of Macao. Hong Kong and Macao governments are finalising the detailed arrangements of the inbound car park at the Macao Port and will make an announcement as soon as possible.
According to the discussion of the three governments, cross-boundary private cars using the HZMB are mainly regulated by the quota system. The three governments will allow qualified cross-boundary private cars to travel between Guangdong/Hong Kong and Hong Kong/Macao via the HZMB with reference to the existing quota system for Guangdong/Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars. Guangdong and Hong Kong governments announced in December 2017 that the number of quota of Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars using the HZMB to Guangdong will increase from 3 000 to 10 000 to respond to the public demand. The quotas will be valid for five years and are being distributed.
The discussion on the quota arrangements of Hong Kong/Macao cross-boundary private cars is at the final stage. Both governments are studying the detailed arrangements and will make an announcement once the details are confirmed.
In addition to private cars, travellers may choose to commute by cross-boundary shuttle bus, cross-boundary coach or cross-boundary hire car according to their needs. Cross-boundary shuttle bus is a frequent feeder service and is the major mode of transportation between the ports of the HZMB. The basic schedule is every 5 minutes during peak hours, and every 10 to 20 minutes during non-peak hours. Cross-boundary coaches provide transport services travelling to the areas beyond the ports (i.e. within the city boundaries of the three places) with fixed stopping points. Cross-boundary hire cars also travel to areas beyond the ports, providing point-to-point and personalised cross-boundary transport service of the three places.
Besides, travellers may arrive at the Hong Kong Port by taking local public transportation (including franchised bus, green minibus, taxi and non-franchised bus) from different districts in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Port will also provide no less than 650 parking spaces for local private cars. Visitors who arrive at the Hong Kong Port by public transportation or private car may then take cross-boundary shuttle bus to the Zhuhai Port or Macao Port.
Lastly, the Hon Wilson Or enquired about the number of Guangdong/Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars in the past three years. At present, cross-boundary private cars travelling between Guangdong/Hong Kong via road-based boundary control points must apply for closed road permit (CRP) from the Transport Department (TD) after obtaining the quotas. According to TD's figures, the number of Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars issued with valid CRPs are around 28 000, 28 600 and 30 400 in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Ends/Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Issued at HKT 14:55