New rail lines to help ease crowding
New railways on the drawing board are likely to focus on relieving congestion at some interchange stations, such as Admiralty and North Point, transport officials say.
At least three projects have been lined up from 2020. The plans would be launched for public consultation in December, the Transport and Housing Bureau said yesterday.
'The consultation will focus on dealing with bottlenecks at some Hong Kong Island stations,' undersecretary Yau Shing-mu said.
The consultations mark the bureau's second round of plans for rail development to meet the city's long-term transport needs. Last month, a public consultation was started on three New Territories projects, including a link between Hong Kong and Shenzhen airports.
The bureau did not delve into the details of the latest plans, but it was previously reported that possible routes included direct services from Siu Sai Wan to either Chai Wan or Heng Fa Chuen and from East Kowloon to Central and Admiralty, and a spur line running parallel to the Island Line.
The first consultation dealt with inter-regional railway corridors, while the second would tackle more localised congestions, Yau said.
The two consultations would help the government in long-term planning on railway transport, such as setting apart land for development, he said. It will then release a blueprint charting post-2020 railway planning and construction in the first half of next year.
Statistics from the Census and Statistics Department had enabled the bureau to plan for transport needs up to 2030.
Transport planning needed to go hand-in-hand with land planning and development, said Fletch Chan Wai-wai, a principal assistant secretary at the bureau.
'We are looking at population changes and shifts,' Yau said.