The head of the Tai O Rural Committee has called on the Transport Department to lift all vehicle restrictions for South Lantau.
In a written question ahead of next Monday’s Islands District Council meeting, Lou Cheuk-wing argues that now the government has ruled out a direct Tung Chung-Tai O link, it should open up South Lantau to all traffic.
This would allow “Lantau residents and all Hong Kong people to bring their vehicles without having to apply for a permit. Free movement between Tung Chung and southwest Lantau would bring convenience for city residents,” Lou said.
His request will almost certainly be rejected out of hand because of the limitations of the road network. Rural committee leaders have been pressing for the upgrade of South Lantau Road into a standard highway to support the unrestricted flow of vehicles onto the island. The Transport Department eased permit rules last January, allowing 25 private cars and 40 tourist coaches daily.
Last May 60 residents blocked Keung Shan Rd near Tai O to protest the danger posed by the growing traffic on the narrow, winding road.
The government rejected the Tung Chung-Tai O road, which has been under discussion on and off for 30 years, because of the cost and impact on the sensitive coastal environment.