Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has already emphasised several times that developing Lantau Island is important. Hopefully, October 23’s fiasco at the Lantau Link will make people realise the lack of roads connecting Lantau Island with the city center.
In less than a decade, two major Hong Kong constructions will be completed: the third runway at the airport, and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which means more and more people will be entering Hong Kong through Lantau Island.
How could the government have already planned glamorous hotels and large shopping malls for mainland tourists, yet not have plans for sufficient roads and transport to handle them?
With the commissioning of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge looming, Hong Kong cannot afford another blunder like we had in October. As the the Tsing Ma Bridge is literally the only way of leaving the island, it cannot suffer another breakdown. With no alternative route, tens of thousands of people will be stuck on Lantau Island, temporarily paralyzing the airport because practically no one can get there.
Although a cross-harbor tunnel connecting Tuen Mun and the Airport is being constructed, I still have my doubts. No doubt the new tunnel can provide another route for travelers, but it is still not enough in the long term.
In last month’s Lantau Link breakdown, the Transport Department failed to clearly provide alternative routes for stranded citizens and travellers to reach their destinations. Also, horrifically, there is still no emergency procedure whatsoever to deal with such a situation.
It’s disappointing that the government has failed to recognise this lurking problem for a considerable amount of time.