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LCQ8: Parking spaces for container vehicles

     Following is a question by the Hon Miriam Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, in the Legislative Council today (June 6):


     It has been reported that temporary car parks available for the parking of container vehicles in the New Territories North have been recovered by the Government one after another, thereby causing a substantial reduction in container vehicle parking spaces in the district which are already in short supply, and a large number of container vehicles are forced to park by the roadside.  To prevent their vehicles from being damaged or even stolen, container vehicle drivers have to stay in the vehicle compartments after work; not only are they unable to go home, but their health is also affected as they are stranded in the compartments over a long period of time.  Some members of the industry have pointed out that such working conditions will only exacerbate the problem of shortage of manpower with no new entrants, which the freight industry is now facing, and will eventually stifle the development of the logistics industry.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number, locations and areas of the short-term tenancy sites, which had been used as temporary car parks, recovered by the authorities in the past three years, as well as the number of container vehicles which could be parked at these sites, the length of the tenancies which had been entered into, and the reasons for recovering the sites;

(b) of the timetable for allocating land as logistics back-up sites by the authorities in the next five years, and the quantity, areas, locations and possible uses of those sites; among such sites, the number of those which will be allocated for container vehicle parking; the expected number of parking spaces which may be provided at each site;

(c) whether the authorities have conducted any long-term assessment on the demand for container vehicle parking spaces; if they have, of the details, and the follow-up measures they will take when the results indicate that the container vehicle parking spaces provided by the Government will not be able to satisfy the demand in the next five years; if not, the reasons for that, and whether they will consider conducting such an assessment; and

(d) given that some members of the industry have pointed out that many public car parks prohibit the parking of container tractors, thereby forcing drivers to park those tractors illegally by the roadside, whether the authorities have studied how to solve the problem of the parking of container tractors for the industry; if they have, of the details of the relevant measures; if not, the reasons for that?



     My reply to the four parts of the question is as follows:

(a) Since January 2009, the Lands Department (LandsD) has terminated a total of 210 Short-term Tenancy (STT) sites (with a total area of about 1,510,000 square metres) used as temporary car parks with tenancy terms generally ranging from six months to five years.  Among them, 78 STT sites (with a total area of about 890,000 square metres) could be used for container vehicle parking.  Details are at Annex.  

     Of these 78 sites, 58 have been re-tendered for STTs under which container vehicle parking is allowed.  The reasons for terminating STT sites are usually expiry of tenancy, termination by tenants, termination by the Government for re-tendering and government projects, and for land sale or other long-term development.
(b) Currently, the LandsD has granted a total of 126 STTs measuring 169 hectares for logistics-related uses such as open storage of goods, consolidation and handling of container cargoes, and logistics and freight forwarding activities, etc.  Of these, over 100 hectares are in Kwai Tsing to support container terminal operations.  Meanwhile, we are exploring the feasibility of using the remaining sites in Kwai Tsing of about 13 hectares for logistics-related purposes, with a view to releasing the sites in phases to meet the trade's demand.

     Generally speaking, government sites which are suitable for logistics-related uses and with no immediate long-term development will be let by the LandsD in the market for container vehicle parking or other logistics-related uses by means of STT.  The LandsD will publish on its website STT tender forecast for the coming six months for the reference of interested parties.

     Separately, depending on the planned use of the relevant land use zones, private land owners may, after obtaining planning permission from the Town Planning Board and complying with the relevant land lease conditions, use their land as permanent or temporary container vehicle parks/repair workshops.

(c) and (d) According to the statistics of the Transport Department (TD), industrial/commercial buildings and temporary car parks in Hong Kong currently provides about 5,300 designated parking spaces for container vehicles or tractors.  Container tractors whose length meets the relevant requirement for on-street parking may also park at the approximately 4,000 on-street parking spaces for goods vehicles across the territory.  Logistics back-up sites also provide a certain number of container vehicle parking spaces.

     The Government is committed to providing adequate parking spaces for all vehicle types in various districts to meet demand.  The TD has been monitoring the demand and supply of parking spaces for different categories of vehicles including container vehicles, and has implemented the following improvement measures: (i) provide additional on-street parking spaces at locations where there is demand on the premise that traffic flow, road safety and other road users are not affected; and (ii) monitor the utilisation of temporary car parks - the relevant departments maintain close contact with one another to identify and release suitable sites for use as temporary car parks where practicable, with a view to increasing the number of parking spaces.  

     The TD will continue to monitor and review the demand and supply of parking spaces for container vehicles as well as the effectiveness of the above measures.  Appropriate initiatives will be introduced when necessary to meet the demand of the public and the transport trade for parking spaces.

Ends/Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:01


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