Speech at meeting of Establishment Subcommittee

EC(2022-23)4 — Proposed creation of one supernumerary post of Government Engineer in the Transport Department to lead the conduct of the Traffic and Transport Strategy Study in formulating a Transport Strategy Blueprint with a planning horizon up to 2050, with a view to supporting Hong Kong’s sustainable development and strengthening the competitiveness of Hong Kong

Mr CHAN Chun ying made the following enquires: (a) according to paragraph 11 of EC(2022-23)4, TD would carry out the territory-wide Travel Characteristics Survey (“TCS”) in the second half of this year with a view to commencing the updating of the CTS Model for traffic forecasting purposes based on the survey results. However, there were transient changes in the mobility modes and travel patterns of the public amid the epidemic over the past two years or so, including reduced travelling under the work-from-home arrangements. As the epidemic situation gradually stabilized, travel patterns of citizens might revert to normal. In view of the uncertainties in the epidemic developments, the TCS proposed to be conducted in the second half of this year might not yield accurate findings for long-term reference. Questions were raised as to whether the Administration would review afresh the survey findings after one to two years to ascertain the accuracy of the forecast; and

(b) congestion charging was already implemented at the busy road sections in a number of overseas cities, and examples of success were not uncommon. As pointed out in EC(2022-23)4, the biggest traffic problem in Hong Kong was the pressure on roadbased traffic brought by private cars, and a study on congestion charging would be covered under TTSS. Members asked whether the Administration would take forward the implementation of congestion charging in the study.

The Administration gave the following responses: (a) TD would carry out a large-scale survey this year through interviewing households to examine in detail citizens’ mobility modes and travel patterns amid the epidemic. The survey which was conducted roughly once every decade, would also study the choice of routes or transport modes among the commuting public since the completion and commissioning of a number of transport infrastructures in the past few years (e.g. the East Rail Line cross-harbour extension, the CentralWan Chai Bypass, etc.), in order to update the CTS Model; the Government conducted a study on the traffic flow of the three road harbour crossings (“RHCs”) in end-2021 and similar traffic studies would continue to be undertaken; the figures provided by various transport operators would also be checked to assess the accuracy of the TCS findings; and