Spectators in HK urged to use public transport

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 July, 2008, 12:00am

The Equestrian Company, set up to run the Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong, has called on spectators to take public transport and shuttle buses to watch the events.

Shuttle bus terminuses will be set up near the University and Fanling MTR stations to pick up people going to see the jumping and dressage events at Sha Tin and the cross-country part of the eventing competition at Beas River.

The free services will operate from two hours before the competitions begin until about 11/2 hours after they end, with travelling time varying from five to 15 minutes.

Transport Department chief transport officer Nelson Chan Nap-sang said parking for taxis, private cars and coaches would not be provided at the venues, and roads around the venues would be cordoned off on competition days.

Spectators taking taxis, private cars and coaches would face a 15- to 20-minute walk to get to the venues from drop-off points, he said.

Special traffic arrangements will be implemented near the competition venues during the Games period, including the closure of the Shing Mun River footpath, Yi Ching Lane, Pak Hok Ting Street and Yuen Wo Road.

As the equestrian events will be held either early in the morning or late in the evening, some MTR services will start to run earlier or finish later.

A chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear exercise was held at the Sha Tin venue yesterday, involving nine government departments and the Equestrian Company.

During the exercise, codenamed 'Equinox VII', a simulated dangerous device was 'activated' at the venue shortly before an event, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries.

Police officers and Fire Services Department staff then swung into action to rescue and decontaminate affected spectators at nearby Sha Tin Fire Station. The exercise was the last of a series aimed at testing the government's ability to respond to potential incidents at the Olympics.