Hong Kong unveils transport infrastructure blueprint; more projects in the pipeline

The Hong Kong Major Transport Infrastructure Development Blueprint was recently unveiled by the Transport and Logistics Bureau. It formulates a planning framework for the city’s future transport infrastructure development and outlines a forward-looking vision for strategic railway and major road networks, with a view to meeting Hong Kong’s long-term transport and logistics demand up to 2046 and beyond.

“The government’s vision is to build a liveable, competitive and sustainable Hong Kong through transport infrastructure-driven developments by adopting the planning principles of ‘infrastructure-led’ and ‘capacity-creating’. The blueprint aims to ‘drive development’, ‘strengthen connection’ and ‘improve efficiency’ in order to cater for the public’s and visitors’ commuting demands as well as the city’s development needs,” explained Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Lam Sai-hung.

Mr Lam shared that the blueprint also promotes “cross-boundary integration with the mainland [China], particularly with other Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area cities and linking up with the world.”

In 2020, the Hong Kong government commenced the ‘Strategic Studies on Railways and Major Roads beyond 2030’ to conduct a comprehensive and objective analysis of the supply and demand of major transport infrastructure in the city. The government has also held public forums and consulted various stakeholders. With new proposals recommended in addition to projects that are currently under planning, design and construction, the blueprint has been formulated by organising and consolidating the study’s findings.

Future railway and road projects

The blueprint incorporates proposals to enhance three railway lines and three major roads, as well as to build two new railway lines and one major road in the eastern developments of the Northern Metropolis. Furthermore, there is a proposal for smart and green mass transit systems.

The enhanced three railway lines will include the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Rail Link (Hung Shui Kiu–Qianhai), the Central Rail Link, and the Tseung Kwan O Line Southern Extension; whilst the three major roads will consist of the Northern Metropolis Highway, the Shatin Bypass, and the Tseung Kwan O-Yau Tong Tunnel.

Meanwhile, the two new railway lines and a major road in the Northern Metropolis will comprise the Northern Link Eastern Extension, the Northeast New Territories Line, and the Northern Metropolis Highway (New Territories North New Town Section).

In a separate statement, Hong Kong’s railway operator MTR Corporation said it welcomes the enhanced three strategic railways suggested under the blueprint, and the plans to take forward two new railway projects in the Northern Metropolis. The corporation will also monitor the progress of the South Island Line (West) project mentioned in the blueprint and provide full support accordingly.

At the moment, MTR has been pushing forward the new railway projects progressively. Construction of the Tung Chung Line Extension commenced in May 2023, followed by the Tuen Mun South Extension and Kwu Tung Station on the East Rail Line in September. The Oyster Bay Station has also started construction in 2023.

Construction of the Airport Railway Extended Overrun Tunnel will begin as planned in the future, added MTR. In the meantime, construction of the Hung Shui Kiu Station and Northern Link is expected to commence as soon as possible after the signing of the relevant project agreements.

Dr Jacob Kam, CEO of MTR Corporation, said, “The blueprint has mapped out a clear roadmap for the future railway development of Hong Kong. The construction of railways involves major investments and the fact that we are extending from existing lines would add technical complexity to the process. MTR Corporation will continue to uphold our professionalism and technical excellence, as we contribute to building the future of Hong Kong.”

All images: Transport and Logistics Bureau