Office of The Ombudsman announces result of direct investigation into Transport Department’s handling of a road section enclosed and left idle for prolonged period
31 October 2017
The Ombudsman, Ms Connie Lau, today (October 31) announced the completion of a direct investigation into the handling of a road section enclosed and left idle for a prolonged period. The direct investigation report has been uploaded to the Office of The Ombudsman website at www.ombudsman.hk for public viewing.
2. The Office noticed earlier a media report alleging that a section of Hing Wah Street (“the Section”), located between Cheung Sha Wan Road and Lai Chi Kok Road in Sham Shui Po, had been partially enclosed for years. Apart from being a waste of scarce road resources, it also caused frequent traffic accidents and the problem of illegal fly-tipping. The Office, therefore, initiated this direct investigation.
3. The investigation revealed that part of the Section’s road surface had been enclosed since the early 1990s, and it was not open for public use until 2017. The Section remained enclosed and idle for more than two decades with no one paying any heed mainly because the Transport Department (“TD”) failed to take action to regularly review what could be done to tackle the problems caused by enclosure of the Section, nor did it consider how to make better use of the idle space (such as converting it into temporary pedestrian walkways or a green belt for the benefit of local residents). The above situation showed that while the TD had the responsibility to coordinate and take the lead in the transport planning and management of Hing Wah Street, it failed to perceive that responsibility.
4. To address TD’s inadequacies, the Office has recommended that the TD should actively discharge its duties as the leading department, and regularly review the transport planning and road use arrangements in the vicinity of Hing Wah Street.
Office of The Ombudsman
October 31, 2017