TD's response to emergency closure of Kap Shui Mun Bridge

In response to media enquiries on emergency transport arrangements after the closure of Kap Shui Mun Bridge last night, a spokesman for the Transport Department (TD) today (October 24) said the following:

The Emergency Transport Coordination Centre (ETCC) of TD monitors and handles traffic and public transport incidents 24-hour a day. After having been notified by the Management, Operation and Maintenance contractor of Tsing Ma Control Area that the Ship Impact Alarms at Kap Shui Mun Bridge were triggered, the ETCC immediately issued the first press release to inform the public of the service disruption of MTR Airport Express and Tung Chung Line.

Subsequently, five other press releases were issued to update the public about the situation including the closure of all lanes of Tsing Ma Bridge and advise the public to consider using the ferry service between Central and Discovery Bay and interchange buses from Discovery Bay to and from Airport / Tung Chung. Meanwhile, sound bites were arranged for broadcasting by electronic media and Variable Message Signs (VMS) informing the public on the road of the road closure were displayed at Tuen Mun Road, Yuen Long Highway and San Tin Highway. Other tunnel operators and bus companies were also informed and advised to display VMS near tunnels and on the LED displays in Public Transport Interchanges. All the information was updated onto the TD website and the mobile application of "Government HK Notifications".

Throughout the incident, the ETCC had closely monitored the situation and made necessary arrangements to enhance transport services. The ETCC contacted ferry operators and requested them to mobilise extra resources immediately to strengthen its existing services and to provide the planned emergency ferry service.

Under the arrangement, the Discovery Bay ferry operator had enhanced the frequency of services between Central and Discovery Bay from 30-minute to 20-minute intervals, and strengthened the bus feeders from Discovery Bay to Airport / Tung Chung. Four extra ferry departures were operated and carried about 1 400 passengers. Other ferry operators agreed to mobilise their resources to provide the emergency ferry service from Tsuen Wan West to Tung Chung. The operators then notified TD that the vessels and crew needed to operate the extra service would be ready by 10pm. At least four ferry departures with a total capacity of 700 passengers was planned initially. As the Lantau Link was reopened at 9.40pm, the ferry services were not operated.

The TD's ETCC had also been in close liaison with the MTRCL and the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) on transport arrangements and communications to the public during the incident. The Transport and Housing Bureau, the TD, the AA, the MTRCL and relevant government departments will draw experience from the incident to further improve emergency response arrangements.

Ends/Saturday, October 24, 2015
Issued at HKT 20:18