Protest delays LRT services

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 January, 1999, 12:00am

About 10,000 commuters in Yuen Long were delayed by up to 75 minutes yesterday when protesting villagers lay down on LRT tracks.

Trains on four Light Rail Transit routes were halted when the 120 people from six villages demonstrated at Hung Shui Kiu station against what they said was inadequate compensation for land resumption.

The protest came after Lands Department officials failed to arrive to accept a petition attacking compensation for land taken for the West Rail project.

Protest co-ordinator and Yuen Long Provisional District Board member Mak Ip-sing said: 'On the first two occasions, we and the police asked the villagers to return to the pedestrian walkway immediately, which they did.' But with the villagers becoming more impatient, several elderly women sat on the tracks and refused to move. They had to be removed by police, he said.

The LRT expressed regret over the protesters' action.

'We estimated that more than 10,000 passengers were affected between 3.30pm and 4.45pm,' public affairs manager Ida Leung Pik-fu said.

An emergency feeder bus service ran between Siu Hong and Hung Shui Kiu during the disruption, she said.

The KCRC said complaints about compensation were being examined by the Lands Department.