Sky Rail project hits the buffers
THE Executive Council has rejected a $3 billion plan for an elevated railway for southern Kowloon following strong objections.
Objectors claimed the system would be noisy and would spoil the look of the tourist district.
The decision ended four years of controversy over the futuristic Kowloon Sky Rail project.
It was put forward by a consortium led by New World Development and made up of Cheung Kong (Holdings), Spic Batignolles and Indosuez Asia.
A last-ditch effort by the consortium in claiming 80 per cent support from a territory-wide survey in January this year failed to counter opposition raised by government environmentalists, councillors, local residents and hotel groups.
''The noise levels produced by the proposed system would be particularly objectionable to residents in Hunghom where some of the buildings would be only 15 metres from the tracks,'' a Government spokesman said yesterday.
The proposed eight-metre-wide guideway along Salisbury Road and the system's nine stations would be intrusive, objectors claimed.
''The Urban Council consider that the alignment would run unacceptably close to the Cultural Centre, Space Museum and Science Museum, and would encroach upon their gardens and parks in Tsim Sha Tsui,'' said the spokesman.
The spokesman said other environment-friendly light rail proposals would still be considered to improve transport facilities. There are an estimated 650,000 commuters daily in the area.
The Kowloon Sky Rail Project consortium, which claimed to have spent more than $20 million studying the proposal, was not available for comment.