It's time transport officials get to grips with Sai Kung's traffic woes
Last weekend, Sai Kung was home, yet again, to absolute traffic mayhem. My family and I decided to go to Sha Tin for Sunday lunch instead of heading into Sai Kung on the advice of our taxi driver, who mentioned there had been three traffic accidents and the traffic was backed up both ways - from Hiram's Highway and also from Ma On Shan direction. Locals have to plan their trips to Sai Kung town to avoid the inevitable jams.
I wrote to the Road Safety Council in July. They forwarded my query to the Transport Department. I received a response saying the Transport Department acknowledged receiving "public complaints regularly" but disagreed with my view and said they do "not consider that the current traffic condition in Sai Kung town is in chaos". What are all the regular complaints about, then? The respondent wrote: "Please be assured that the Transport Department will continue to monitor and review the traffic situation at Sai Kung town and, if necessary, to implement feasible traffic management measures to further improve the traffic situation."
"Further improve"? I would like to invite Transport Department officials to come to Sai Kung on a weekend to see for themselves how chaotic the situation really is.
After waiting for more than 20 minutes for a cab at the minibus station on Saturday without seeing a single one, and watching all the private vehicles blocking public transport access to the transport hub, I walked to the police station and asked where all the traffic police were. The response was that they were "all at Wong Shek Pier", which is about as far away from Sai Kung town as one can get. If the department were a business, it would have gone bankrupt long ago.
On my way into Sai Kung on Tuesday night (which took 25 minutes longer than the usual five minutes) I listened to a traffic report. There was no mention of Sai Kung being deadlocked. If the Transport Department finds this situation acceptable, it explains a lot.
Andrew Maxwell, chairman, Friends of Sai Kung