Closed road: daily quota may be doubled

The Transport Department is considering doubling the number of private vehicles allowed into South Lantau each day.

Since February 2016, up to 25 private cars and 40 tourist buses have been permitted into the Lantau closed road area each weekday.

Now, because of what the department regards as the success of the scheme, it is planning to increase the quota to 50 cars and 50 buses, Sing Tao reports.

The paper notes that, apart from the requirement that five of the 25 private cars be electric, the private vehicle quota is full almost every day for the next month.

The proposed higher quota takes the TD back to its original plan, floated two years ago, of allowing 50 cars and 50 buses in daily.

It trimmed the numbers for the start of the scheme following an outcry from the local residents.

Chau Chuen-heung, a former DAB district councillor and now vice-chair of the Lantau Development Advisory Committee’s transport group, said that because the vehicles can only enter Lantau between 8 am and 7 pm on weekdays, they would avoid the weekend crowds.

She said the district’s concerns were over the lack of parking spaces.

However, besides the limited parking facilities, local residents are also anxious that once the closed road was lifted, the number of vehicles would continue to rise under pressure from local businesses and rural leaders.

With news of a plan to hike the quota, those fears have not been allayed.

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