Fewer travellers than usual crossed at Lowu last weekend despite extended border opening hours, figures released yesterday show. According to the Immigration Department, 584,734 travellers crossed via Lowu on Saturday and Sunday, 854 fewer than last month's weekend average. A department spokesman said 10,714 travellers crossed during the extra 30 minutes from 11.30pm to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. He said the figures suggested the travellers might be regulars taking advantage to cross a little later. He said the drop of 854 people could be a normal fluctuation and it was too early to draw conclusions about the impact of the extended border hours. 'We'll continue to monitor the impact as the new arrangement just started on Saturday,' the spokesman said. But at Lok Ma Chau, 87,093 crossed on Saturday and Sunday, 4,451 more than last month's weekend average. A total 4,140 took advantage of the 2.5 hours extra opening at Lok Ma Chau. The checkpoint now opens half an hour earlier at 6.30am and closes two hours later, at midnight. Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced the new border opening hours last month. Mr Tsang said he expected an extra 3,000 to 5,000 passengers would use Lowu each day and 1,200 more Lok Ma Chau. The Immigration Department will recruit extra staff to man counters.