Noise complaints spur calls to delay start of 10km race

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, 12:00am

District councillors act after disturbance to residents

District councillors in Eastern and Wan Chai have called on Hong Kong Marathon organisers to delay the starting time for the 10km race after receiving noise complaints from residents over Sunday's event.

Eastern district councillor Hui Ching-on, who serves residents around City Garden, which was near the starting point for the 10km run on Sunday, said some residents had complained to him about noise problems.

The race started for the first time on the Island Eastern Corridor, while the marathon and half-marathon started in Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. All three races finished in Victoria Park in place of Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai.

Mr Hui said he received three or four complaints from City Garden residents.

'The noise was quite loud, as hundreds of thousands of people gathered at the same site at around 4am, plus announcements made by the organisers through loudspeakers,' said Mr Hui, who lives near City Garden.

'It would be better if the race could be delayed for two to three hours instead of setting the starting time at 5am, as many people are still sleeping in the early morning.

'The community supports the event and I also took part in the marathon on Sunday. But when I got up at around 4am to prepare for the race, I also found the noise level quite high.'

Wan Chai district councillor Yolanda Ng Yuen-ting said she had received noise complaints from people living in Paterson Street, Causeway Bay.

'There are about 24 residential blocks around that street. Some residents had to call up district councillors on Sunday to express their discontent over the noise problem. I think it is quite a serious problem,' she said.

Despite expressing support for the event, Ms Ng said organisers should listen to residents' complaints and understand their concern.

'The race starts too early in the morning and people tend to get up late on Sundays.

'If the starting time of the next race can be delayed until after 8am that will be better for residents,' she said.

The Standard Chartered Marathon Organising Committee said it would listen to different parties to understand their concerns.

'We are collecting views from many different groups and parties and will consolidate the information and consider their concerns.

'We will also study plans for improvement to make our next event more successful,' the committee said.

The committee will also hold meetings with government departments to assess the arrangements for Sunday's race.