Hong Kong Police announce road closures on both sides of harbour as 300,000 expected to ring in the new year on Monday
- Highlights of the New Year celebrations include a HK$14 million fireworks display and light show
About 300,000 revellers are expected to turn out on both sides of Victoria Harbour on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the countdown to 2019, say police.
Announcing road closure measures on Friday, the police estimated about 30,000 people will gather near the waterfront on Hong Kong Island and about 230,000 to 270,000 in Kowloon West on Monday evening for the celebrations, which include the HK$14 million (US$1.8 million) fireworks display and light show over the harbour.
Some of the major roads in West Kowloon and Hong Kong Island will be closed for crowd management.
In Tsim Sha Tsui and East Tsim Sha Tsui, major thoroughfares such as Nathan Road, Canton Road and the Hung Hom Bypass will be closed from 8pm. The Star Ferry Terminus and Kowloon Park Drive will also be closed off at 8:30pm.
To facilitate the dispersal of crowds after the events, the area around Hung Hom Promenade will be closed at 11pm. Road closures will be extended to other streets including Kimberley Street and Hillwood Road at 11.30pm.
Chung Hung-yip, superintendent at the Kowloon West traffic unit said people should use public transport as much as possible to avoid congestion.
“Police will take strict enforcement actions including towing away any illegally parked vehicles in the closed areas which cause congestion,” Ching said.
On the Hong Kong Island side, road closures to traffic in shopping area in Causeway Bay such as East Point Road and Lockhart Road will start from 4pm. Depending on the situation, closures may extend to include Southbound Gloucester Road, Great George Street and Sugar Street from 6pm and Kingston Street and Cleveland Street from 8pm. From 9pm onwards, road closures will include the lay-by on Victoria Park Road outside Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter.
In Wan Chai, Expo Drive will be closed from 9pm. In Lan Kwai Fong, Wing Wah Lane and On Lan Street will be closed from 6pm. Closures of streets such as Wellington Street and Wyndham Street will be implemented at any time after 7pm.
Lee Man-yiu, superintendent of enforcement and control of Traffic Hong Kong Island, said that drivers should pay attention to radio announcements for updates on road closures.
“To avoid danger, don’t slow down or stop your car to look at the fireworks when driving on motorways,” Lee said.
The highlight of the countdown celebrations include the Tourism Board’s 10-minute synchronised “pyromusical”, which combines fireworks, pyrotechnics, lights and music, over Victoria Harbour.
Shopping centres will also hold countdown events, including Eastpoint City in Tseung Kwan O, Plaza Hollywood in Diamond Hill, New Town Plaza in Sha Tin, Hong Kong Gold Coast Piazza in Tuen Mun and The One in Tsim Sha Tsui.