Enhancements by the government’s Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) to Lantau’s mountain bike trails have been given the go-ahead, subject to objections lodged being withdrawn. The ‘upgrades’ are planned for the Chi Ma Wan Country Trail circular route and the coastal route from Mui Wo to Shap Long.
The CEDD’s expressed aim is to create mutually safe conditions for both bikers and hikers, increase user enjoyment and improve sustainability, drainage and erosion control. The focus is said to be on improvement and enhancement, rather than new development, and no visible concrete or other artificial material will be used. Technical features, such as earth ramps, will be added in places. Hand rails for fall prevention will be installed along the 13-kilometre South Lantau water catchment road, also classified as a mountain bike trail.
Local residents are voicing their concern, citing these upgrades as both unnecessary and destructive of the natural environment. Plans to compact the ground to allow drainage across the mountain trail could significantly alter the natural conditions. Additionally, many believe the so-called trail defects, that the CEDD plans to rectify, should be preserved since these natural features enhance the scenery, while providing a technical challenge for bikers.
Ham Tin resident Jason Pagliari, one of three residents present at a site meeting on the Chi Ma Wan Country Trail on June 29, says: “The main concern is that we don’t want them to make the trails look artificial. I have been mountain biking and hiking with my dogs across the Chi Ma Wan trails for over 10 years and I don’t think these changes are needed.”
Jason placed an objection to the first stage of the works in June, which he has since agreed to cancel, subject to some comments passed to the CEDD being addressed. To find out more, you can call Kenny Ho, CEDD spokesman and engineer, on 2231 4421.
Image: Jason Pagliari