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Advisory Council on the Environment

Notice and Agenda for the 52nd Meeting of the Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE)

(ACE Paper 29/98)
for discussion

Third Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS-3)
Consultation Document

PURPOSE

This paper invites Members' views on the Consultation Document for the Third Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS-3).

BACKGROUND


The upward revision of the population forecasts, an enhanced housing programme and the increasing cross-boundary traffic all point to a need to update and refine our transport infrastructure and policy framework. For this purpose, we have commissioned the CTS-3 which started in August 1997 for completion in early 1999.

The CTS-3 will assess our future transport needs and provide the broad parameters for the long-term development of transport infrastructure, for the expansion of public transport services and for setting our transport management objectives for the next 20 years. For the first time in the history of the Comprehensive Transport Studies, the CTS-3 will include a strategic environmental assessment, with a view to ensuring that the transport strategy formulated in the study could be realized in an environmentally acceptable manner.

THE CONSULTATION DOCUMENT


A transport model has been developed and calibrated for assessing future transport demand and evaluating transport infrastructure and policy options. We consider it useful to have public views on the major initiatives being examined in the study so that such views could be incorporated in the continuing work of the study and in particular, in the detailed recommendations before they are finalized. To this end, we have issued a Consultation Document and launched the consultation exercise in June.

The Consultation Document seeks views on the following major policy directions -

(a)
adopting a more proactive approach in the planning of transport infrastructure in order to meet anticipated demands;
(b)
according priority to railways which is not only environmentally friendly, but is also the most efficient mass carrier and will therefore maximize the use of land space;
(c)
enhancing further inter-modal co-ordination among various public transport modes by providing better public transport interchange facilities and providing passengers with relevant information on services available, etc; and
(d)
making more use of modern technologies in managing road use and in providing transport information to the public.

STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

As part of CTS-3, the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) will evaluate the associated environmental impacts, such as air quality, noise and ecology, etc., of different transport infrastructure and policy options at a strategic level to identify the environmentally acceptable options.

The compliance of transport infrastructure and policy options with relevant environmental policies, standards and requirements will be checked in the SEA. This will ensure that future transport developments are realized in an environmentally acceptable manner.

In the SEA, appropriate mitigation measures, including management of transport demands or alternatives, will be recommended. Furthermore, the SEA will develop a framework and methodology for a strategic environmental monitoring and audit mechanism for the transport strategy recommended in CTS-3.

CTS-3 will also investigate the potential transport policy directions of according priority to railways, improving travel demand management, and enhancing co-ordination among public transport modes. The SEA, together with these initiatives, would facilitate the identification of a transport strategy which could meet Hong Kong's future transport needs in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable manner.

ADVICE SOUGHT


Members are requested to advise us of their views on the major initiatives and other issues outlined in the Consultation Document.


Transport Department
June 1998

 

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