Very effective measure

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 May, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 May, 1993, 12:00am

I WOULD like to clarify a few points in your report published on May 6 regarding the incident at the Lowu border crossing on April 3.

On April 3, the border was opened as usual at 7 am, when there were already some 3,000 passengers waiting to cross the border. The queueing situation was usual for a public holiday. However, on that particular morning, the processing rate on the Chinese side was slower than the demand, and the footbridge to China was repeatedly blocked with passengers waiting to enter China.

By 7.15 am the crowd waiting at Lowu reached 4,500 and the KCR implemented a Lowu ticket quota of 500 per train to restrict the flow of passengers to Lowu Station. The quota was further reduced to 200 per train at 7.50 am when there was no indication that the processing rate would increase to match the rate at which the crowd was building up.

The KCR worked very closely with the Immigration Department in monitoring the situation and used the quota system to control the build up of passengers.

Unfortunately, the processing rate on the Chinese side remained low, significantly lower than normal, and after review with the police and immigration, a zero quota was implemented at 8.15 am. As soon as the KCR was advised that the difficult situation would continue at 9.30 am, we were able to brief the electronic media and the first broadcast was made at 10 am.

Whilst we know our passengers do not want to have to wait to purchase a Lowu ticket, I can only stress again that the Lowu ticket quota system is a very effective measure to regulate the Lowu passenger flow to match the prevailing border processing rate.This has been an effective means in the past, and was again so on April 3, in ensuring the safety of the thousands of passengers queueing at the Lowu platform, waiting to cross the border, and at stations along the line.

TRACY LAI Public Affairs Manager Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation