PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 12:00am

Victoria Road has suffered from continuous roadworks for longer than most people living in the Pokfulam area can remember.

Residents over the years have become accustomed to delays and inconvenience caused by temporary traffic lights, road diversions and lack of safe pedestrian walkways. The highlight each year is the traditional 10-day amnesty at Lunar New Year when it is possible to drive or walk along the road with no obstructions before next year's trenches commence.

The present condition of Victoria Road between Sassoon Road and Pokfulam Road Fire Station whilst widening and re-alignment works are in progress, far surpasses any past wreckage and devastation. Perhaps this is an indication of what can be expected during the construction of the Cyber-Port over the next five years? Like many residents I regularly walk along Victoria Road in the evenings as a form of exercise, accepting traffic fumes as a necessary evil in this polluted city.

In addition pedestrians now have the challenge of a commando obstacle course. Street lights are broken and out of order, leaving stretches of the road in total darkness with no attempt to repair. The narrow footpath damaged during construction is overgrown and littered with temporary warning signs, forcing pedestrians to step on to the road. The fence alongside the road is broken down and no attempt has been made to repair it.

Several long stretches of the footpath no longer exist, having been consumed by the construction, again forcing pedestrians to walk on the road facing on-coming traffic. The road surface itself is badly potholed.

There appears to be no control or supervision of the contractor undertaking the roadworks, or concern by any parties over the total lack of safety measures which are creating dangerous conditions for motor vehicles, and more importantly, pedestrians.

Whilst road improvements are necessary to cater for heavier traffic density, there is a duty to carefully plan traffic and pedestrian diversions giving full consideration to safety and a maintenance programme during construction. I wonder if the relevant government authorities are even aware that roadworks are being carried out. And if so, under what criteria are inspections and controls undertaken? Urgent action to improve the situation should be taken, or, is the master plan to ignore the problem hoping work will be completed before a serious accident occurs? This hardly constitutes planning, or concern for the environment.

J. R. LAW Pokfulam