Enough transport links to Hong Kong’s new sports park

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 July, 2017, 5:40pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 July, 2017, 10:38pm

I refer to the article by Dr Ken Chu (“Hong Kong’s new sports park at Kai Tak will not be a white elephant if lessons are learned”, July 16).

As a former chief executive of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, I agree with Dr Chu that connectivity for the planned Kai Tak Sports Park is of great importance.

Information available in the public domain would seem to confirm that it has been taken into account from the earliest planning period of the project.

Proximity to the Kai Tak and To Kwa Wan stations on the MTR’s new Sha Tin to Central Link, will mean good connectivity and reliable short journey times for all parts of Hong Kong Island. In fact there will be good connections for international sports and entertainment events at the Kai Tak stadium for the whole of Kowloon and the New Territories, thanks to existing and new rail lines. And the same applies to people wanting to come to the sports park from the increasingly important Greater Bay Area and the rest of Guangdong, as they will be able to use the cross-border express rail link.

While the project is being planned, computer simulations will be used to ensure that crowd movements to and from the stadium, with up to 50,000 fans exiting and entering the stations, comply with internationally recognised safety regulations. Also, the MTR Corporation will be able to have train frequencies and station design flows that take into account the large crowds that will sometimes fill Kai Tak Sports Park.

Rail will be the main connecting carrier, but the sports park will provide a landscaped deck below which space is available for buses, coaches, taxis and private cars, for alighting and boarding, and there will also be a public car park. The underside of the deck will permit crowd movement, with noise constraints in place, when necessary, to comply with the Noise Control Ordinance. Cross-harbour ferry services will be within easy walking distance.

Dr Chu also mentioned the Environmentally Friendly Linkage System, which will be another convenient people carrier. It will not be essential for this monorail system to be open by the time the sports park opens its doors in 2022/2023, the target date set by the Legislative Council.

James Blake, Ap Lei Chau