Planners seek better road links Proposals to develop Lantau's economy and tourism could be undermined by the island's transport bottleneck, members of the Town Planning Board warned yesterday. They argued more north-south roads were needed. The government defended its decision to maintain restrictions on access to south Lantau to preserve its natural environment. A revised concept plan for Lantau development, unveiled in May, was presented to the board yesterday for consultation. Most members welcomed its development principles, which address concerns about nature conservation. Michael Chan Chun-fung, district officer of the Planning Department, said development projects such as a proposed logistics park, a possible second theme park and a cross-boundary transport hub would be confined to the island's northern shore. Most of south Lantau would continue to comprise country parks, with a focus on ecotourism. The only road linking north and south Lantau is Tung Chung Road. Its peak-time use is limited to vehicles with operational or business needs, such as buses, and, except in emergencies, to those residents with permits to use it. 'Not everyone can go to the south by cycling. The government should improve the transport network linking north and south Lantau,' said board member Nelson Chan Wah-yu, referring to the cycle tracks being planned and built around the island. 'If you want to stimulate local economic activities, you will have to relieve the problems of traffic congestion [on Tung Chung Road],' said fellow board member Greg Wong Chak-yan, a former president of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers. But Ng Cho-nam, a board member and a University of Hong Kong professor, said the government should take steps to preserve the natural environment instead of destroying it by allowing more private vehicles to enter the area. 'There might be illegal dumping if you build another road or open the Tung Chung Road to all,' he said. Michael Chan said the government was widening Tung Chung Road to meet rising demand from the public, and no additional road linking north and south Lantau would be built so as to preserve the island's rural characteristics. Board chairman Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan said the decision to restrict access to south Lantau would ensure the island was developed sustainably. She noted that feasibility studies for the construction of four highways connecting the island to Tuen Mun and Tsing Yi were under way. Major changes to the concept plan, released two years ago, include moving the proposed site of the logistics park eastwards from Tai Ho Bay and dropping a plan for a golf course at Tsing Chau Tsai East. But waters to the northwest are still earmarked for a proposed 10th container terminal.