Pok Fu Lam anger over route for trucks moving MTR waste
Parents and other residents of Pok Fu Lam will protest today against the relocation of a barge-loading site that will handle soil and rock excavated for construction of the MTR's South Island Line. The work will mean up to 300 dumper trucks a day plying the area's roads.
The MTR Corporation plans to move the loading site from Kellett Bay, near the Wah Kwai Estate, to Telegraph Bay, near Cyberport and several luxury residential estates including Residence Bel-Air and Baguio Villa. The barging point will handle part of the 1.5 million cubic metres of soil and rock.
About 100 residents will gather at the barging point today demanding it be moved elsewhere.
They say the new point is farther away from the construction site than the original location, which means the trucks will have to travel farther.
Ronald Chan Ngok-pang, the area's district councillor, said: 'The trucks will have to travel two kilometres farther every day to the construction site, and that creates more pollution and safety issues.' He will lead two more protests outside the Legislative Council next week.
The parent-teacher association of the Independent Schools Foundation Academy - one of four private schools in the neighbourhood - said a sudden increase in the number of trucks would pose a danger to pupils who walk, jog or cycle along the roads. 'Our youngest pupil is just five years old,' Edna Wong of the association said. 'The roads are narrow and windy, and the trucks always move at high speed.'
David Kidd, the chairman of the board of Kellett School, a British international school, said it was strongly opposed to the proposal.
Not only would the trucks worsen the traffic congestion, the air and noise pollution they caused would affect teaching, and use of the playgrounds.
A traffic bottleneck at the intersection of Pok Fu Lam Road and Victoria Road, in front of Kellett Primary School, would heighten the impact of these problems, he said.
More than 9,000 residents in the area have signed a petition demanding that the MTR Corporation move the barging point elsewhere.
The residents say the barging point at Telegraph Bay is already being used by the Drainage Services Department for a flood-prevention project. More than 100 trucks pass through the area every day.
The MTR Corp says it will only use the site after the department finishes its work early next year. Up to 300 trucks will be deployed at peak hours, but the average will be about 200.
'We believe this site is better than Kellett Bay, as it affects fewer households and the connecting roads are also less busy,' a spokeswoman said.
The only road connecting the Kellett Bay barging point to the construction site is the dual-lane Tin Wan Praya Road, which is already busy with buses and trucks from a concrete plant and a sewage treatment plant. The trucks will now carry their loads to Wong Chuk Hang via Sha Wan Drive, Victoria Road and Shek Pai Wan Road.
Some residents suggested trucks should use separate routes to and from the barging point. They said departing trucks should use Cyberport Road, passing Bel-Air on the Peak before turning into Victoria Road. However, residents of Bel-Air on the Peak are not expected to support that.
The MTR said it would consider all proposals and would widen the affected roads and junctions.