Protesters storm the tracks over light-rail service cancellation

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 October, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 October, 2006, 12:00am

Light Rail Transit services were disrupted for about 20 minutes yesterday as residents of Tin Shui Wai took to the tracks in protest against a decision to cancel a route.

Dozens of protesters joined the Democratic Party-led rally at Tin Heng station against the cancellation of Light Rail route 761.

On Saturday, the KCRC won an injunction against eight Democratic Party district councillors, barring them from taking to the tracks.

But while the eight stayed off, other residents went on.

About 20 police officers formed a human chain, blocking the protesters from making their way to Tin Yat station further along the line. A police spokeswoman said organisers had notified police of a march on an adjoining pavement or cycling track.

Marchers immediately left the tracks after being warned of legal action, the spokeswoman said, adding no action would be taken.

Residents have complained that bus services cover only the southern part of Tin Shui Wai and the cancellation of the Light Rail route would inconvenience them. This was the second rally in a week against the plan.

Yuen Long district councillor and Democrat Cheung Yin-tung said up to 100,000 people lived in northern Tin Shui Wai and they did not have enough public transport. Up to 70,000 residents living between Tin Heng and Tin Yat stations would be further inconvenienced by the cancellation of route 761.

Mr Cheung said the KCRC had promised to put the project on hold and consult residents, but later 'changed its mind' and decided to go ahead with next Sunday's cancellation.

A KCRC spokesman said the planned Light Rail service improvements would benefit 270,000 Tin Shui Wai residents, who would enjoy the 761P, 705 and 706 services. He said the average travelling time for those who took route 761 would remain unchanged.