Small amount of traffic

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 July, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 July, 1993, 12:00am

I AM writing in response to a letter from Mr Nicholas Pirie concerning the Driving Test Centre at the cul-de-sac of Hawthorn Road (South China Morning Post, June 17).

The centre there has been in operation since 1980. Following the closure of two driving test centres at So Kon Po and Eastern Hospital Road in April 1992 as a result of the redevelopment of the Hongkong Stadium, it is the only centre for conducting road tests for private cars on Hongkong Island for learner drivers other than those enrolled with the Hongkong School of Motoring at Wong Chuk Hang.

Currently the centre conducts an average of about 60 tests per day from Monday to Friday. Therefore, during the operation period of the test centre, the additional traffic volume of test vehicles is only about 10 vehicles per hour. With this small amountof traffic, the adverse impact on traffic is minimal. Moreover, the cul-de-sac together with Holly Road have all along been prohibited from learner drivers from 7.30 am to 7.30 pm except for Sundays and public holidays. Three-point-turn manoeuvres are tested elsewhere at Broom Road or Shan Kwong Road.

To facilitate the water main laying works at Hawthorn Road, a section of its eastern kerbside lane has been temporarily designated a restricted zone for 24 hours daily since June 1. Obviously, the closure of this driving test centre is not in the interests of the public as it will deprive the right of learner drivers residing on Hongkong Island to take their driving tests on Hongkong Island.

The Transport Department has persistently taken action to search for suitable replacement sites in addition to its effort to seek reinstatement of the two driving test centres at So Kon Po and Eastern Hospital Road. Regrettably, the department's request for the allocation of a site at Caroline Hill Road has recently turned out to be unsuccessful. At present, we are actively working towards the allocation of a site at North Point. Notwithstanding the above, there is the possibility of removing parts of the tests from the Hawthorn Road Driving Centre to So Kon Po Driving Test Centre if reinstatement of the latter were to materialise as envisaged in late 1993.

During the interim period, I would like to request the concerned drivers' patience and tolerance regarding the driving test activities there.

ALBERT CHAN for Commissioner for Transport