Driving on Lantau Island Scheme to be launched on February 26

The Transport Department (TD) announced today (February 15) that the department will launch the Driving on Lantau Island Scheme on February 26 to enable 25 private cars per day to enter South Lantau on weekdays for leisure and recreational purposes. The Scheme aims to attract more local visitors to South Lantau, including Ngong Ping, Tai O and Mui Wo, for promoting tourism and the local economy in the area, and follows the relaxation of traffic restrictions on December 25, 2015, to increase the maximum number of tour coaches permitted to enter South Lantau per day to 40.

The TD spokesman advised that members of the public who are interested in joining the Scheme may submit online applications for the Lantau Closed Road Permit for driving on the closed roads to tourist spots in South Lantau from 8am to 7pm on weekdays, when traffic is not busy. A quota of 25 private cars will be allocated. To promote environmental protection, five places in the quota will be allocated to electric private cars. The quota will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. To allow more people to join the Scheme, each private car is eligible to apply to join the Scheme once in the same month.

The TD will, from 7am on February 17, accept online applications. Members of the public may join the Scheme by applying for the Permit from that day to enter South Lantau on February 26 and afterwards through GovHK (www.gov.hk/en/residents/transport/roadandtraffic/lantaupermit.htm) and paying $75 permit fee. The Permit is non-transferable. In general, applicants may pick a day from Monday to Friday (except public holidays) in the coming month for using private cars to visit South Lantau, while the earliest day is the third working day after the day of application.

The TD has published guidelines for private car drivers joining the Scheme, reminding them of particular points to note when driving on the closed roads on Lantau Island. For details of the application method of the Permit, please visit the TD's website (www.td.gov.hk) or call 2804 2600 for enquiries.

The TD proposed permitting 50 private cars to visit South Lantau on weekdays in mid-2015. After consulting the stakeholders concerned and considering their views, the department decided to implement the proposed measures in phases. The first phase of permitting 25 private cars to enter South Lantau will be implemented from February 26. The TD will closely monitor the traffic conditions as well as the supply and utilisation of parking spaces in South Lantau upon the implementation of the new measure to ensure that it runs smoothly. The timetable for implementing the second phase of the measure will be reviewed in due course.

Ends/Monday, February 15, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:02