Dismayed transportation gurus, district councillors, citizens urge Hong Kong government to rethink determination to scrap Kai Tak elevated monorail job

Catrina P. Smith

a view of a city: A rendering of the proposed monorail running through the Kai Tak Development, a plan the government has officially scrapped. Photo: Handout

A rendering of the proposed monorail running through the Kai Tak Advancement, a approach the govt has officially scrapped. Photograph: Handout

A transport professionals’ team wishes the Hong Kong govt to rethink its conclusion to scrap a proposal for a HK$12 billion (US$1.55 billion) elevated rail backlink cutting throughout the coronary heart of Kowloon and the significant Kai Tak Progress.

Its members are bitterly disappointed that the authorities want to swap to using a blend of classic modes of transportation this kind of as buses, minibuses, ferries, travelators and walkways.

Henry Cheung Nin-sang, chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Railway Transport Gurus, reported the group supposed to lobby lawmakers to persuade the government to bring back again the monorail system, which experienced been beneath thought for above a decade and price tag a lot more than HK$90 million in various studies.

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“We are very dissatisfied,” he stated. “The use of walkways and travelators will not meet up with the developing desire of citizens and businesses in the redeveloped region.”

They can’t simply drop the total approach for the reason that of functioning into technological complications. This is an irresponsible attitude

Henry Cheung, chairman, Association of Hong Kong Railway Transport Industry experts

Development chief Michael Wong Wai-lun verified on Wednesday the authorities was dropping the monorail notion simply because it was way too pricey and unworkable.

Cheung turned down the clarification of “insurmountable issues” these kinds of as dealing with a house regarded as also slender for the monorail at Hoi Yuen Highway in Kwun Tong.

“They can not simply just drop the complete program because of running into complex problems. This is an irresponsible perspective,” he stated. “You can not just give it up simply mainly because it is far too expensive.”

Right after 11 yrs and HK$90 million in studies, proposed Kai Tak elevated rail hyperlink scrapped

Proposed by Chief Government Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor when she was secretary for growth from 2007 to 2012, the monorail promised to be the 1st of its kind in Hong Kong and a one of a kind aspect in an place earmarked as the city’s second core enterprise district.

But in her coverage handle previous thirty day period, Lam explained a comprehensive feasibility research experienced located that classic modes of transportation would be preferable.

The news dissatisfied lawmakers, district councillors, residents and organizations in the district who had hoped the rail url would incorporate to the enchantment of a revitalised Kowloon East, and increase connectivity.

They questioned how value could be an concern, when Lam was pushing ahead with the bold Lantau Tomorrow Vision reclamation task costing at least HK$600 billion off Lantau Island.

Quite a few had been also apprehensive about worsening site visitors congestion in Kowloon East, specially in Kwun Tong.

11 years, continue to ready: federal government needs to hurry up with studying Kai Tak rail link proposal

‘Monorail program captivated house-buyers’

The proposal was for 9km of elevated monorail operating from Kowloon Bay MTR station to Kai Tak Advancement – on the internet site of Hong Kong’s previous worldwide airport – linking the cruise terminal and continuing above the Kwun Tong storm shelter to Kwun Tong MTR station.

It was meant to increase connectivity within just Kowloon East and meet the desires of the 320-hectare Kai Tak Enhancement, which contains pieces of adjoining Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin, and Kwun Tong districts.

The govt approximated in 2010 that the monorail task would price tag HK$12 billion and have a daily ridership of more than 200,000 in 2031.

Rail qualified Cheung felt there have been means the govt could modify the program to deal with the specialized troubles in Kwun Tong.

“Inhabitants have been whining around congestion difficulties in Kwun Tong and if the governing administration desires to develop Kowloon East into a 2nd core organization district, it shouldn’t count on the old modes of transport,” he said.

Cheung King-lover, Kowloon City’s district councillor, stated he would carry on to foyer the government to adjust its head.

a view of a large body of water with Roosevelt Island in the background: An aerial view of Kai Tak. Photo: Martin Chan

© Presented by South China Early morning Submit
An aerial view of Kai Tak. Picture: Martin Chan

“Many citizens in Kai Tak are extremely not happy that the monorail approach is being dropped as they experienced high expectations. It was meant to be a landmark facility providing effortless and relaxed transportation,” he explained.

He pointed out that developers had located by themselves in an uncomfortable circumstance too, as a lot of household initiatives these as Oasis Kai Tak and K.City experienced applied the monorail as a marketing issue.

“Now it looks the developers have misled the prospective buyers,” he reported.

Jeff Bent, controlling director of Globally Cruise Terminals, operator of the Kai Tak cruise terminal, stated with out the monorail technique, people today becoming a member of or leaving cruise ships would be greatly inconvenienced.

As a dwelling port, the terminal would from time to time see 4,000 to 5,000 passengers leaving their ships at the very same time, so it was crucial to have excellent transportation amenities.

The federal government should have ditched it from working day 1, not after 11 decades and paying out more than HK$90 million

Quentin Cheng, spokesman, Public Transport Analysis Team

“We fully grasp the rationale for dropping the monorail, but want there could be a confined monorail, probably just together the runway from Kai Tak MTR station to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. It would be improved than almost nothing,” he stated.

Kai Tak resident Keith Liu, 44, stated the proposed monorail was a essential motive he spent HK$9 million to acquire a 500 sq.-foot flat in K.Town two many years in the past.

“It was proposed by Carrie Lam herself and I believed that considering the fact that she is the chief government now, she would continue to keep her phrase,” he reported, dismayed that the thought has been scrapped.

He as well did not consider that charge really should be an situation, pointing out that the federal government experienced invested a large amount on mega projects fraught with charge overruns, such as the multibillion-dollar West Kowloon Cultural District.

a large body of water with a city in the background: An artist impression of the monorail crossing from Kwun Tong to Kai Tak. Photo: Handout

© Supplied by South China Early morning Publish
An artist perception of the monorail crossing from Kwun Tong to Kai Tak. Photo: Handout

“The federal government shouldn’t flip-flop all the time,” he stated.

Quentin Cheng Hin-kei, spokesman for the commuter issue team Community Transport Investigation Staff, said he constantly imagined the monorail method would not do the job.

“The authorities should really have ditched it from working day one particular, not soon after 11 years and spending far more than HK$90 million,” he explained.

He also did not concur that switching to traditional modes of transport would assistance Kowloon East’s ambitions of becoming one more industrial district.

“The governing administration need to have applied these 11 many years to offer good transport preparing for the district. Now it seems all the things is back to sq. one particular,” he explained.

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This report originally appeared on the South China Morning Publish (www.scmp.com), the foremost news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2020. South China Early morning Post Publishers Ltd. All legal rights reserved.

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