Expect longer commute times in Hong Kong Central district ahead of Formula E race, official warns
Preparations for 1.86km course to run from November 21 to December 11
Traffic congestion in Hong Kong’s financial centre is expected to intensify in the run-up to the Formula E race early next month as some roads temporarily close for the high-speed event.
Those working in the district should budget extra time for their commute from November 21 to December 11 as installation and restoration works are done ahead of the closure of some roads and pedestrian paths, Transport Department senior officer Leung Kwok-man warned.
“Our assessment is that before the race the affected area would be more congested than usual so those who work in the district should be mentally prepared,” he said. “Vehicle owners are advised to use public transport during the period.”
The warning came as preparations were being made for the event to be held on the Central Harbourfront on December 2 and 3. The route extends 1.86km along Lung Wo Road, Man Yiu Street and Yiu Sing Street, and this marks the second consecutive year for the city to host the event.
Alan Fang, CEO of Formula Electric Racing (Hong Kong) Ltd, said the e-Prix would be a double-header race this year, so the course would need to be ready for the teams and drivers by 7am on December 2.
“It means that the road closure arrangement will be pushed a little bit earlier and start at 9pm the night before on December 1,” he said.
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Certain roads serving as the racetrack are to be closed from 9pm on December 1 to 5.15am on December 4. They include part of Man Kwong Street, Man Cheung Street, Man Yiu Street, Lung Wo Road and the whole of Yiu Sing Street. Vehicle access, pedestrian paths and crossings are to be suspended for the affected area, with alternative routes for vehicles and pedestrians.
Fang added that to date 70 per cent of 40,000 tickets had been sold out while a ceiling of 10,000 free tickets would be handed out on both days of the event.
Newman Ku Siu-fai, chief inspector of Central District police, said over 100 officers would be deployed to implement crowd control measures. He described the risk of a terrorist attack as “moderate”.
“The force has kept a close eye on this event and on terrorist incidents around the world,” he said. “But so far there is no intelligence to suggest that Hong Kong is being singled out for terrorism.”