Police ignoring serious problem of illegal parking in Tai Po

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2016, 4:08pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2016, 4:08pm

I read with disappointment the reports concerning a campaign against illegal parking carried out earlier this month by the police. I am disappointed because this operation clearly failed to include Tai Po.

A planned brief visit to the hardware shop in Tai Po one recent morning turned into an hour-long exercise as the car parks were full and every side street was lined on both sides by illegally parked vehicles.

A yellow line on Nam Shing Street is a clear indication that no parking or waiting is allowed, as the opposite side of the street is a terminus for green minibuses. However, the line was invisible on this particular morning because about 20 private vehicles and one police minibus were parked on it.

The same situation occurs in every other street in Tai Po on every day of the week, but you would have far more luck seeing a snowman than you would a traffic warden or police officer issuing tickets in this town.

A recent feature in Business Post extolled the virtues of living in Tai Po – clean air, large houses for sale or rent, a wonderful countryside. However, what the piece failed to say was that because of the rapid expansion of the Tai Po area, namely in the surrounding villages, parking in the town has become almost impossible, and so illegal parking has become the accepted practice.

Clearly the government did not foresee or did not care about the consequences of issuing thousands of building permits for village houses in the Tai Po area – it saw only the millions it would rake in from taxes.

Shops and restaurants are not readily found in village locations and so residents are forced to travel to Tai Po to buy provisions and to eat out, and most seem to do so by car.

The mayhem this creates is simply madness and one of the government’s own making, as no new public car parks have been built to keep up with the rapid expansion of the surrounding villages.

Worryingly, some of the car parks that do exist are located on vacant building lots, and when construction begins on those sites there will be even less available parking than there is now.

Village residents could travel to town by bus or by taxi, but while illegal parking goes on unchecked they have absolutely no reason to do so.

Richard Castka, Tai Po