Under the new rates, approved by the Transport & Housing Bureau and endorsed Tuesday by the chief executive in council, the flagfall will increase from $HK17 to HK$19 and the incremental charge – for every 200m – will rise from HK$1.40 to HK$1.50.
Hong Kong and New Territories cab fares will also increase by HK$2 per flagfall. In the initial application last April, Lantau drivers had sought to increase the flagfall by HK$4, Apple Daily reported.
In the last price rise in December 2013, the blue taxi flagfall was hiked from HK$15 to HK$17 and the red taxi from HK$20 to HK$22.
Lantau residents dodged a bullet overnight as Typhoon Nida passed without incident. No injuries or major damage were recorded, Lantau police said.
Across Hong Kong only three people sought hospital treatment, RTHK reports.
The New Lantao Bus Co (NLB) is considering a trial of double decker buses on South Lantau to cope with an expected spike in population
Deputy general manager Benny Chan said the company was in discussion with the Transport Dept on testing two-decked vehicles on the 3M route between Tung Chung and Mui Wo.
He said the plan was still in its early stages, and no timetable has been set. If it does go ahead, he said most likely it would be divided into two phases – first on Tung Chung Rd only and then on South Lantau Rd. Continue reading
Prosecutions of drivers entering South Lantau without a permit have risen by nearly three-fifths in the last two years, according to Transport Dept figures.
Police prosecuted 1007 drivers last year, up from 823 in 2014 and 637 in 2013, the department said in answer to a question from Legco member Kwok Ka Ki.
South Lantau police chief David Bennett, a former traffic policeman who took on the post early last year, has said he would make road safety a priority.
A series of banners promoting the government’s ‘develop Lantau’ message have popped up all over South Lantau in the last three days. The unusual feature is that no one has put their name to them.
What’s also unusual is that, unlike the government grand plan that includes inflatable water toys, cable cars and artificial islands, these messages include practical ideas that could improve people’s lives, like better internet and a functioning sewage system.
That said, these promotions are on the same page with the government on conservation, with one banner asserting that environmental protection should not take precedence over development.
Photos and translations of ten of the banners below.
(UPDATE: One Pui O resident posted on a local Facebook page that she’d seen former Islands District Councillor Rainbow Wong hanging the banners. Wong was the preferred Rural Committee representative for a decade until the local powerbrokers threw their weight behind Randy Yu at last year’s election. )
‘Support Lantau Development: Cut ferry ticket prices’ – Mui Wo roundabout Continue reading
A 38-year-old man died in North Lantau Hospital after being struck by a bus on Sunday morning.
The man, surnamed Ng, wascrossing Yat Tung Rd near the Tung Chung bus terminal when he was struck by the no. 34 bus and dragged underneath the vehicle, sustaining serious injuries.
Ng, who worked as a chef at Discovery Bay, was listening to music through earphones as he crossed the road, Apple Daily reported.
Police arrested the 63-year-old bus driver on suspicion of dangerous driving.
They have appealed for witnesses to contact investigating officers on 3661 1300.
Hong Kong government decisions follow a well-worn path. A government agency endorses a dubious scheme cooked up by some self-serving committee, outcry ensues and after a token consultation the project goes ahead.
That has been the predictable course of the Transport Department plan to open South Lantau Road to non-residential traffic. While the extra 35 tourist buses and cars will have a small numerical imact on the current 2,500 or so vehicles on the road daily, the real effect is symbolic: it is no longer a closed road.
The TD statement makes it clear this is merely the start. When it promises to review the timetable for “the second phase” we can be sure that further phases will follow. The roads of Lantau, narrow and hazardous as they might be, are paved with gold for the developers, landowners and tourist industry hucksters that the government calls on for advice.
In this, as is almost routine, the government is well out of step with community opinion. Surveys by the Save Lantau Alliance, a green group, and the Friends of Lantau, led by District Council election candidate Lau King Cheung, both found well over 80% of local residents oppose any road opening. Continue reading
For once it was not just Lantau people fretting about our transport problems. This past weekend we had not one but two accidents which threw the spotlight on Lantau and our fragile connections to the world. Plus one excellent irony – of that more later.
The Sunday evening accident, where a returning Macau hydrofoil struck an object off the Sokos, was lucky not to involve any life-threatening injuries. Reportedly the object was a marine fender tyre. For anyone who has strolled the garbage-strewn Fan Lau beach nearby that’s no surprise.
As a sailing master told the SCMP, such accidents are probably unavoidable in Hong Kong’s less than pristine waters. It won’t get any better off Lantau’s coast when the Environment Dept starts shipping 12,000 tonnes of household waste in and out of Shek Kwu Chau daily, but hey, let’s not see that as a negative. Continue reading
Lantau might have some of Hong Kong’s oldest settled communities, but it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that modern roads came to the island.
Historically Lantau people were seafarers and farmers who lived on or near the coast. Any contact between villages was by sampan or mountain path.
That was true long after the island came under British control.
Here comes the flood. The Transport Department is planning to open up South Lantau roads to 50 non-resident vehicles and an extra 20 tourist coaches each weekday. According to this story in Sing Tao Daily on Monday, the department said it had come up with the proposal after “reassessing” the current closed road policy.
It doesn’t say what specifically was reassessed. But the government and its developer-centric advisory committee have made clear their determination to overturn decades of conservation and traffic management policies in their pursuit of a vision of “Lantau development” based on mass tourism. The 50-car limit seems to be a trial balloon. Continue reading