Piazza will make congestion much worse in Tsim Sha Tsui
15 July 2009
South China Morning Post

Johnny Leung, general manager of the Star Ferry. in his letter (Piazza will not help Star Ferry, July 7), gives details of the company's 2005 traffic consultant's findings.

It predicts that the ferry service will suffer a drop in patronage of between eight and 11 per cent when the Tsim Sha Tsui ferry bus terminal is demolished in order to create a piazza for tourists.

Of course, even without an assessment, it is obvious that moving back the bus drop-off point to the front of the Cultural Centre will increase journey times. It will also make the connection less convenient.

What is more, not all bus routes will provide this service; those from Kowloon East will terminate at Wing On Plaza and passengers for the Star Ferry will have to take a shuttle bus or walk to the pier. This is in an area with no street-level crossings.

This will take more than 10 minutes, as every route entails navigating numerous steps and tunnels. With buses turning around against the flow and the extra shuttle buses in service there will be even more congestion on Salisbury Road.

Of course, the Tourism Commission is hoping that no one will ask for an estimate of the number of extra tour buses the piazza will attract.

However, a walk around Golden Bauhinia Square would suggest that these can be calculated by the dozen.

Already commuters waiting for a public bus at the New World stop further along Salisbury Road, across from Wing On Plaza, are left gasping for breath from the idling engines of the tour buses parked there every day. As this situation is a matter of public interest, Mr Leung should post the consultant's report on the Star Ferry website so that passengers have access to its content.

At the same time the Transport Department and Tourism Commission must give projections for the inevitable increase in tour buses in an area which is already exploited by an unsupervised tour- bus invasion.

This will be a piazza for tourists in their air-conditioned buses and a cause of inconvenience and pollution for locals.

Candy Tam, Wan Chai


(上次更新: 2009-07-16)

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