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Summary of views and responses

In 2016, the Highways Department (HyD) conducted a public engagement exercise for “Hiram’s Highway Improvement Stage 2” project (“the HH2 Project”) with distribution of pamphlets, setting-up of website, as well as holding local consultation meetings, exhibitions and a large scale public forum. The aim was to inform the public the latest progress of the HH2 Project and to collect the views of the public. A summary of comments received and our responses are provided as follows:

  • Concern 1: Traffic management and traffic congestion
  • Hiram’s Highway is the only principal road linking Sai Kung to Kowloon East and Tseung Kwan O. There is traffic congestion along some sections of the road during peak hours on weekdays and on the weekend. In light of this, the following comments were received from the public:

    • 1.1 Request of limiting the number of vehicles on Hiram’s Highway
    • HyD’s response:Sai Kung has a number of leisure and tourist attractions and is the connecting point to some outlying islands. Restricting vehicles entering Sai Kung would significantly affect road users and the public.

    • 1.2 Suggest to adopt traffic management measures instead of carrying out the road improvement works
    • HyD’s response:To resolve the congestion problem in the long run, there is a need to widen the concerned road sections to increase the capacity.

    • 1.3 Suggest to consider park-and-ride schemes
    • HyD’s response:During the investigation stage, HyD has studied the feasibility of park-and-ride scheme. However, the scheme is considered as not feasible since Sai Kung does not have any mass transport system.

  • Concern 2: Project design
    • 2.1 Request for setting an appropriate speed limit at Hiram’s Highway
    • HyD’s response:The current speed limit of Hiram’s Highway is 50 km/h. This speed limit will be maintained after the completion of HH2 project.

    • 2.2 Request for provision of cycle track along Hiram’s Highway
    • HyD’s response:With limited space along Hiram’s Highway, the available spaces will be ultilized for construction of road and footpath. Hence, it is difficult to provide cycle track.

    • 2.3 Request for providing more parking spaces and parking facilities
    • HyD’s response:The parking need have been considered when formulating the design of alignment. After completion of the project, there will be parking spaces provided along the route. The affected parking spaces will be relocated nearby as far as possible.

    • 2.4 Request for improving vehicles entering Hiram’s Highway from side roads
    • HyD’s response:Due to the existing busy traffic along the Hiram’s Highway, it is relatively difficult for vehicles entering Hiram’s Highway from side roads. After completion of the HH2 project, the road junction design will be up to the current traffic design standard, which can help resolving the problem for vehicles entering Hiram’s Highway from side roads.

    • 2.5 Request for providing subway and footbridge across Hiram’s Highway
    • HyD’s response: In the planning of pedestrian crossing facilities, we have considered different factors, including pedestrian flow, engineering design, land requirement, appearance and comments from residents. After considering the various factors, subway crossing has been proposed at Pak Sha Wan.

    • 2.6 Prefer tunnel options or local improvement
    • HyD’s response: During the selection of a suitable improvement option, we have compared the different options in respect of traffic capacity, land requirement, ecological impact, traffic noise, air quality, waste management, construction time, construction cost, etc. Implementation of local improvements can offer short term relief to traffic condition. However, implementation of the HH2 project is still needed to meet the long term traffic demand. As for the tunnel options, they have a poorer performance in respect of land requirement, waste management, construction time, construction cost, etc. than the on-line improvement option. As a result, dual two-lane on-line improvement option is preferred.

    • 2.7 Lack of lay-by and pedestrian crossing facilities
    • HyD’s response: The design of the HH2 Project will be up to current road design standard, and will provide adequate lay-by and pedestrian crossing facilities. Besides, the central divider can effectively separate traffic flow from different directions, thus avoiding vehicles overtaking at opposite lanes and jaywalking of pedestrians.

    • 2.8 Request for traffic data
    • HyD’s response: We estimated that, after completion of the HH2 Project in 2031, the journey time from Tai Mong Tsai Road to Clear Water Bay Road will be reduced from 30 minutes to 11 minutes. Moreover, the improved Hiram’s Highway can provide adequate capacity to meet the traffic demands of Sai Kung and cope with planned development in Sai Kung.

    • 2.9 Oppose the improvement works at Man Lin Street and Yi Chun Street
    • HyD’s response: According to the existing traffic data, the volume/capacity ratio of related sections have already saturated. There is a need to improve the existing linkage between Man Lin Street and Yi Chun Street.

    • 2.10 Concern on the impact to Sai Kung Tuk Petrol Station and Sai Kung Fire Station
    • HyD’s response: Under the current planning, the Sai Kung Fire Station will not be affected by the HH2 Project while a small part of the Sai Kung Tuk Petrol Station would be modified as carriageway.

  • Concern 3: Impact on local communities and existing facilities
    • 3.1 Concern over the impact on Pak Sha Wan Kwun Yum Temple
    • HyD’s response: To minimize the impact to the Kwun Yum Temple front yard and the Kwun Yum Festival temporary matshed theatre at Pak Sha Wan, the HyD has modified that section of carriageway (about 200m) to single carriageway to minimize the land requirement. After completion of the improvement works, there will be enough space for setting up the matshed theatre.

    • 3.2 Concern that the project may cause damage to Sai Kung as the Back Garden of Hong Kong
    • HyD’s response: The HH2 Project will provide amenity areas to enhance the roadside landscape. The noise barrier configurations, appearance and materials adopted will be designed to match with the surrounding environment. Furthermore, vegetation will be provided on the slopes and near the retaining structures as far as possible to maintain the natural environment of Sai Kung. The HH2 Project will be designed to minimize the impact to the existing trees. The shapes, colors and arrangements of the street futures will also blend with the natural environment of Sai Kung.

    • 3.3 Concern over the impact on Pai Lau of Man Yee Wan New Village/ Sha Tsui New Village, Tin Hau Temple and Hip Tin Temple
    • HyD’s response: Pai Lau of Man Yee Wan New Village/ Sha Tsui New Village, Tin Hau Temple and Hip Tin Temple would not be affected by the HH2 project.

  • Concern 4: Land resumption/ compensation
  • Many people concern about the resumption and compensation issues related to the HH2 Project, including:

    • 4.1 Enquiry about land resumption
    • 4.2 Request for local rehousing
    • 4.3 Enquiry about land compensation
    • 4.4 Enquiry about plans and procedures of land resumption
    • HyD’s response: : Since the project is still in preliminary design stage, the affected area is yet to be confirmed. All land resumption arrangements will comply with the relevant government procedures.

  • Concern 5: Request for further information
  • Some people requested for detailed information of the project, including detailed information of the improvement scheme, design drawings, project programme and alignment drawings.

  • Concern 6: Impact on the environment, ecology and trees
  • During the public forum, some people raised concerns on the environment, ecology and trees, including:

    • 6.1 Concern over the impact on the environment (including noise pollution, air pollution, etc)
    • 6.2 Concern over the impact on the ecology
    • 6.3 Concern over the impact on the trees
    • HyD’s response: According to HyD’s design of the HH2 Project, HyD preliminarily consider that the HH2 Project is not a designated project under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO). HyD will follow the related standards to study the environmental impacts with respect to air, noise, water, etc. to determine whether these impacts are environmentally acceptable, and confirm whether the HH2 project may become a “designated project” under EIAO.

      As for the potential impacts on ecology and the existing trees, HyD will try to minimize the impacts to the ecology due to the HH2 Project, and will transplant or compensate the trees affected by the HH2 Project as far as possible to maintain the landscape of Sai Kung.

  • Concern 7: The public engagement process
    • 7.1 Enquiry on the dates of past consultations
    • 7.2 Request for prompt follow-up to the public comments
    • 7.3 Request for more public consultation activities
    • HyD’s response: The first stage and second stage public forums of the HH2 Project were carried out on 23 Feb 2008 and 12 Jul 2008 respectively. Since 2013, HyD has conducted a number of consultation meetings with major stakeholders. HyD also held a public forum in 22 Oct 2016 to provide a platform for the public to express their latest views. HyD will continue to listen to the comments from the public through the public engagement and consultation activities, with the aim to reach consensus amongst different parties. Please visit our website for the latest development and activities of the HH2 Project: http://hirams-highway-stage2.com.hk/whatsnew.html

  • Concern 8: Other concerns
    • 8.1 Concerns on the selection process of consultants
    • HyD’s response: The Government has a well-established consultant selection procedures and HyD has followed these procedures strictly.

    • 8.2 Traffic arrangement in construction phase
    • HyD’s response: During the construction, the existing traffic arrangement will generally remain unchanged. HyD will maintain the number of lanes during construction as far as practicable. Under the current planning, the works will be carried out in stages. Firstly, site formation works will be carried out for construction of new carriageways. Then, the existing traffic will be diverted to the new carriageways and the existing carriageways will be closed for modification works. Finally, all carriageways will be opened when all works are finished. HyD will implement suitable temporary traffic arrangement to maintain the traffic flow during construction stage.

    • 8.3 Concerns on congestion due to traffic accidents or other incidents
    • HyD’s response: The HH2 Project will improve the Hiram’s Highway to current road design standard and provide additional road capacity to cope with emergency situations. The HH2 Project can also avoid the need for full closure of the Hiram’s Highway due to unexpected events and thus improve connection to the Sai Kung District.

    • 8.4 Providing railway link to Sai Kung
    • HyD’s response: According to Railway Development Strategy 2014, no railway system to Sai Kung Town is planned.

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