Residents and shopowners in Western District have welcomed the long-awaited approval of the MTR West Island line, which will greatly enhance access to the district. The endorsement came after more than 30 residents and district councillors took to the streets to protest the lack of action on the MTR extension to Kennedy Town last October. The district's 200,000 residents have waited 20 years for the West Island extension. 'The rail line is essential to ease pressure on the district's public transport. About 20 years ago, when I was still serving noodles from a cart at night, most buildings in the district were low-rise. You had to walk up five or six storeys. There were few queues for buses then. But as buildings were redeveloped into high-rise blocks about 10 years ago, traffic became really congested.' TSUI KANG-PO, 60, is the owner of a noodle shop he opened with his brother Tsui Kang-kwong, 58, in Hill Road Shek Tong Tsui (between Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town) in 2000. Mr Tsui had served wonton noodles from a cart for more than 20 years. 'There have been numerous petitions to urge for government approval. I would sign every time there was a petition, although the government made little response. Most of my friends are delighted that the long-delayed rail line has finally been approved.' DOMINIC WONG NGOK-LEUNG, 45, lives in South Lane, which is close to University, one of the three stations on the new rail line. LEUNG SHUK-LING, 54, has lived in Shek Tong Tsui for more than 20 years. 'At present, it takes 30 minutes to travel by bus from Shek Tong Tsui to Central during the rush hour. I am a bit worried about the dust and noise, but I think something has to be sacrificed for better transport. I expect property prices in the district to rise.