More private vehicles should not be allowed on South Lantau Road

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 February, 2016, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 February, 2016, 5:00pm

The Transport Department’s scheme to endorse permits for additional private cars and coaches to use South Lantau Road is ill-conceived.

No public consultation was conducted and the move is both unpopular and unwelcome by the majority of island residents. But, like so many government projects nowadays, we are to be bullied into believing it is for the best.

We are also informed that previous “surveys” indicate that this road can sustain such vehicle number increases, but the department has steadfastly refused to enlighten us as to how, where and why these surveys took place. Added to which, a transport analyst claims that the impact of 25 to 50 more cars a day “would not be too significant as an average road was able to handle about 1,000 private cars every hour” (“South Lantau residents slam scheme to allow more cars”, February 17).

South Lantau Road is not an average road. It twists and turns around blind corners, passes through rural villages where the current speed limits do not take into account increased populations, it occasionally stretches long and straight along a scenic coastline where speeding is endemic and it throws up hidden hazards in the form of our local wildlife.

It lacks most of the modern safety features commonly found in more enlightened societies, and which various Lantau concern groups have been lobbying for over a number of years – closed-circuit TV, speed cameras, rumble strips/sleeping policemen, additional signage, and vision-enhancing mirrors. However, local pleas fall on deaf ears and instead we get increased traffic. Where are they all to park?

The department will have its staff on South Lantau Road from Mui Wo to Tai O from dawn to dusk to observe and manipulate any findings to suit its own ends despite the views and knowledge of residents who know much better and care far more.

Jacqueline Green, Lantau