The Transport Department has launched a new “Driving on Lantau Island” Scheme on February 16, allowing a limited number of private cars entry into the restricted South Lantau area.
Beginning on February 26, 25 private cars will be permitted to drive on South Lantau roads for leisure and recreation on weekdays from 8am-7pm. This will allow access to tourist destinations such as Mui Wo, Ngong Ping, and Tai O, as well as Lantau Island’s southern coast.
Drivers have to apply for a Lantau Closed Road Permit (LCRP) online, which costs HK$75 and is available on a first come, first serve basis. The LCRP online application page also displays quota availability for specific dates. Only one LCRP per month is issued for each private car.
Of the 25 permits, 5 are reserved specifically for electric cars. As of press time, quotas have been filled from March 1 to 17, with slots left for solely electric vehilcles between March 8 and 16.
Local residents have been critical of a new scheme, which initially involved a daily quota of 50 private vehicle permits. Among the issues raised are the inadequacy of South Lantau’s roads, worsening traffic, the lack of public transport, and the ecological impact of granting access to more vehicles.
These conflicting concerns have been raised amid the government’s ambitious and controversial development plans for the island.
Photo from hkbus.wikia.com