Stage 2 public consultation launched on feasibility study for EFLS
The government has launched the next round of public consultation for its proposed light rail scheme for the Kai Tak Development and Kowloon East.
The Civil Engineering and Development Department will seek views form the public in Stage 2 Public Consultation for Connecting Kowloon East -Environmentally Friendly Linkage System (EFLS).
Speaking to the press Monday, the Head of the Kai Tak Office under CEDD, Sorais Lee said the public in general welcomed the EFLS according to the results of Stage 1 public consultation completed in October last year.
The government is proposing the EFLS to enhance transport connectivity of Kowloon East in its role as an alternative Central Business District.
In particular, the plan is to connect Kai Tak Development area, Kowloon Bay and Kwun Tong with an elevated light rail system which would help convert Kowloon East into a commercial, leisure, recreational and tourism hub.
“The public at the same time raised concerns over the need for the EFLS, its alignment, coverage and implications for the Kwun Tong Typhoon. Shelter. In the Stage 2 public consultation, we will put forth a detailed feasibility study proposal that has taken into account the views collected in the first stage for further consultation with the public,” Lee said.
For the Stage 2 consultation, CEDD has drawn up an “preferred alignment” for the EFLS which has remained largely unchanged from the initial alignment although two stations have been relocated to avoid overlapping service catchment areas and to enhance public access to commercial developments at Kowloon Bay.
As such the latest alignment would be recommended as the preferred base option for conducting a feasibility study, according to the consultation document.
However Stage 2 consultation has left open the final leg of EFLS to Kwun Tong MTR station for the public to decide.
One option is to go direct from the southern end of the former Kai Tak runway to the proposed Kwun Tong Ferry Pier station and up Hoi Yuen Road to connect to Kwun Tong MTR station.
The other option is for the rail alignment to turn right at Kwun Tong Ferry Pier station and go along King Yip Street to a more spacious site near Kwun Tong MTR station.
There were calls from the public on extending the EFLS beyond Kowloon East but the suggestion was not pursued due to concerns about noise and visual impact on residential areas, privacy issues and lack of space to accommodate the light rail structures.
“However the possibility of building in the flexibility for future expansion of the EFLS will be considered in the detailed feasibility study,” the consultation document said.
According to preliminary timetable, the feasibility study is due in 2015.
There will be engagement of an operator in 2017 to allow design and subsequent construction for eventual commissioning of the EFLS in 2023.
Stage 2 public consultation will end 4 February 2014.