Truckers plan blockade today
San Tin villagers threatened to block the entrance to Fairview Park in Yuen Long today after gates and road signs were put up to keep trucks off the private road through the estate yesterday morning.
Security guards were sent to gates set up at entrances and exits of the estate to divert container trucks to Beer House Lane and Kam Pok Road.
Signs saying 'Gates Ahead Please Use Kam Pok Road' were also placed to remind drivers not to use the private road. When some container truck drivers tried to drive through Fairview Park Boulevard, the guards closed the gates.
Fairview Park general manager Albert Lam Kwok-fai said he was pleased with the new arrangement, as all drivers had complied with the new regime.
'We just want to restate our stand again, which is: users of this road should cover maintenance expenses of the road,' he said. 'Why should we let truck drivers use the road when we have to pay for maintenance of it?'
He said the new arrangement would continue for some time, and hopefully the truck drivers would become accustomed to using other roads instead of the private one.
Villagers, many of whom work in trucking, and estate management have for decades been at loggerheads over use of the road - their shortest route home - especially since a boy cyclist was killed by a truck more than two years ago.
San Tin Rural Committee chairman Man Fu-wan said villagers were furious over the gates and guards.
'Today is Sunday, so we will take no action,' he said yesterday. 'We will play games with them tomorrow [today]. About 20 to 30 villagers will block the entrance during the rush hour in the morning [with their trucks] when everyone is busy going to school and work.'
A Tai Sang Wai villager and truck driver said blocking off the road would cause trouble.
'What right does the estate management have to stop container trucks using the road?' the man, 50, asked. 'Although it is a private road and Fairview Park residents pay for the maintenance, it is stated in a contract that all villagers have the right to use the road. They have no grounds to stop truck-driving villagers.'
He said that given the number of trucks running between the border and New Territories container depots, traffic in the area would be paralysed if management insisted on banning truck drivers from using the private road on weekdays.
The Home Affairs Department expressed government concern and said the Yuen Long district officer would liaise with all parties.