Govt advisers in Lantau boondoggles shock

Here’s a story that pretty much captures all that I’ve been posting in the past month.

Brave Chan, a New Territories politician, NPC member and appointee to the newly-created Lantau Development Advisory Committee, agrees that Lantau’s transport system needs fixing up.

But he’s not talking about the indifferent service from Lantau’s taxi and bus monopolies.  No, he means we needs more infrastructure to cope with more tourists.

Once again, this is Hong Kong’s edifice complex, seeing every problem as soluble only through some serious concrete pours.

Chan patriotically pitches this as a way of avoiding strife between mainlanders and locals. SCMP reports:

Chan, a Northern District councillor, says the island risks the same kind of conflict between visitors and locals seen in the border area he represents unless “urgent” action is taken to improve its transport and tourist facilities….

The group’s ideas included adding a station to the Airport Express line to serve border crossing facilities at the end of the bridge and building two new MTR stations in Tung Chung. They also suggest a tunnel linking Mui Wo on southeastern Lantau to the North Lantau Expressway, and extending the Tung Chung to Ngong Ping cable car to Tai O.

The idea of the Mui Wo-North Lantau road has been canvassed before and dismissed (because of the cost). And the MTR is already looking at adding a station at Yat Tung.

But what is striking apart from their banality is that these ideas are about the needs of the tourist sector, not locals. Which confirms all we’ve suspected about the role of the advisory committee (which wishes to be known as LanDAC).

Another committee member, Ben Chan Han-pan, chairman of Tseun Wan district council, tells the Post that the ideas are about “creating a better tourist experience and improving the living environment.”

With a road.

The problem on South Lantau isn’t a poor road network. It’s persuading the bus and taxi franchises to provide a service that meets community needs. That’s a message the wise heads on LanDAC have already decided they don’t need to hear.

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