A government study has proposed building road and railway links to the East Lantau Metropolis (ELM) through northeast Lantau, apparently abandoning an earlier plan to connect through Tung Chung and Mui Wo.
A report for the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) suggests building a ‘District Line’ railway route from Tuen Mun through northeast Lantau to the ELM and then to Hong Kong Island, HK01 reports.
The logical connecting point on Hong Kong Island would be Kennedy Town, the westernmost station on the Island Line. However, the line may not have the capacity, so the alternative would be to build a new station nearby and passengers interchange on foot.
The report also recommends building a road along a similar route, with discussion about where would be the best place to land it on Hong Kong Island.
Neither of the studies examines transport links from Mui Wo or Tung Chung.
This contrasts with the Sustainable Lantau Blueprint, issued in June, which envisaged a railway connection from Tuen Mun to Tung Chung, then south to Mui Wo and onwards to the main part of ELM via Hei Ling Chau.
According to the Sustainable Lantau Office, a unit of CEDD, a study into Lantau’s internal and external transport networks is also underway.
Yet these reports are being undertaken before the major study into the ELM has begun.
With an estimated HK$400 billion price tag, the 1000ha reclamation in the central waters would be the biggest project in Hong Kong history.
The government is seeking $249 million in cash from Legco to conduct a technical feasibility study, but it has made no economic analysis of the ELM and has no plans to do so.
The project, which is not due to be completed until mid-2030s at the earliest, is premised on a Hong Kong population of more than 9 million. However, the government’s own forecast is that the population will peak at 8.22 million in 2043 and then start to decline.