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- There is no direct land transport linking Hong Kong with Western Pearl River Delta (PRD) at the moment. With the rapid development of Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong Province in recent years, there is substantial increase in passenger flow and freight transport between the Regions. The HZMB will significantly reduce the cost and time for commuters/travelers and for the flow of goods between Hong Kong and the Western PRD.
- Hong Kong can be more effectively connected with the road networks of mainland. The connectivity brought about by the HZMB will benefit various sectors such as tourism, finance and commerce. It will enhance Hong Kong’s position as a trade and logistics hub since goods from the Western PRD and Western Guangdong, Guangxi etc, can better make use of the airport and container ports in Hong Kong.
- The Western PRD will fall within a reachable 3-hour commuting radius of Hong Kong. This would enhance the attractiveness of the Western PRD to external investment. The HZMB will accelerate the economic integration of Hong Kong with the PRD and its neighbouring provinces, and enhance its competitiveness vis-à-vis the other economic zones in the Southeast Asia Region as well as the Yangtze River Delta area.
- Visual impact
HKBCF is at a distance of 2 kilometres away from Tung Chung, which is roughly to the distance between Central and Jordan across the Victoria Harbour . Visual impact on views from Tung Chung premises should be minimal. Please refer to the photomontages for the future views of HKBCF from Seaview Crescent, Coastal Skyline and Caribbean Coast.
- Air quality and noise impacts
With the HKBCF locating 2 kilometres away from Tung Chung, the latest assessments showed that the buffer distance is sufficient to reduce the air and noise impact. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been carried out in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO), of which air quality, noise impacts and other impacts has been assessed to ensure compliance to the EIAO.
- Impact on shoreline
Option NECLK for HKBCF will not involve reclamation along the Tung Chung shoreline while small reclamation off the east coast of the Airport Island will be carried out for the at-grade road section of Hong Kong Link Road (HKLR). The shoreline of Tung Chung Bay and the periphery of the Lautau Island will not be affected.
- Transportation Arrangement
- Good transportation Connectivity at HKBCF
Connection with Airport Terminal, Tung Chung/Urban & Tuen Mun/Northwest New Territories is available. In addition, passengers can conveniently travel between HKBCF and Tung Chung via short transportation connection for the MTR Tung Chung Line.
- Multimodal transport hub
The Option NECLK has advantages on transportation, economy, future operation of HKBCF and the overall environmental aspects.
- By Air: HKBCF is close to the Airport, and Automated People Mover can connect directly to passenger lounge. Also, connection for the future Hong Kong-Shenzhen Airport Rail Link can be provisioned.
- By Land: Apart from connecting with Tuen Mun and Urban Area, it can also reach existing Airport Terminal, AWE, Hotels, MTR Airport Express and the nearby Tung Chung Line.
- By Sea: Enhance the opportunity to develop the Skypier.
HKBCF, Airport Terminal and TM-CLKL are close to each other thus providing an opportunity to combine different public transport routes. The public transport routes from urban or Tuen Mun to Tung Chung/Airport can merge with other routes at HKBCF or form a transportation loop between HKBCF, Airport and Tung Chung. Due to the increase in traffic demand, it is beneficial to operational cost-effectiveness and increasing the frequency of transport routes in Tung Chung.
- HKBCF being close to Airport
Convenient for business visitors from Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge (HZMB) to AWE, hotels etc thus enhancing their business opportunities.
Transit passengers can reach Airport lounge via Automated People Mover without the need of immigration and thus time is saved. As such, the competitiveness of HKIA can be enhanced.
- HKBCF being close to Tung Chung
Additional economic benefits and job opportunities
- Sharing of facilities with Airport Terminal
HKBCF, east of Chek Lap Kok, being close to Airport Terminal, Police Forces at the two locations can support each other and the capability can be strengthened in case of emergency happenings.
- Flexibility of traffic during emergency
There are three routes leading from HKBCF. Vehicles can be diverted to other routes in case of incident in one route. Traffic at HKBCF is therefore more flexible during emergency.
The Option WCLK is not feasible in view of the following reasons:
- Main water flow of Pearl River Delta (PRD)
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge ( HZMB ) is locating at the major water flow path of the PRD. As such, extreme caution must be exercised when designing for the HZMB so as not to impede the flow and flood discharge capacity of PRD and upstream, jeopardizing the discharge capacity of the Pearl River Estuary. Assessments were carried out during the HZMB feasibility study and the Ministry of Water Resources and other related experts unanimously agreed that the water resistance ratio of the HZMB should be controlled within 10%. If the HKBCF is located at the water west of the Airport Island , the flow blockage area will be increased, affecting the water flow and flood discharge ability at the upstream of the Pearl River Estuary.
- Conservation of Marine Ecology
The waters in the western side of the Airport has long been recognized as an active area and nursing ground of Chinese White Dolphins. Dolphins are densely populated at Sha Chau / Lung Kwu Chau and at the west of Lantau Island . The waters in the western side of the Airport is also an important dolphin movement corridor in-between the two locations. An artificial island constructed in the way of this movement corridor will seriously affect the marine ecology.
- Reclamation at both East and West of Airport Island
This option will preclude the opportunity of combining reclamation of the TM-CLKL with the HKBCF. This option will require reclamation not only on the western side, but also on the eastern side to provide a landfall for the TM-CLKL, which is not conducive to sustainable development objectives that reclamation should be minimised.
- Detouring of HKLR
Compare to option NECLK, this option will cause a 2 kilometres detouring for HKLR , resulting in an additional social cost (including time and fuel consumption) and traffic emission (NOx emission increased by 60 tonnes per annum).
This option is not adopted in view of the following major problems which are in conflict with the concept of sustainable development:
- This option requires a large reclamation in western waters, hence affecting PRD flow and dolphins habitat
- The tunnel will pose constraint to the future developments of the HKIA; the area at the north of the Airport Island is reserved for Airport expansion. Constructing a tunnel underneath the expansion will increase the risk caused by fire or explosion inside the tunnel, thus affecting the operation and safety of the airport.
- When compared to the currently proposed Airport-Channel alignment, this option will cause a 3km detour, hence increasing social cost (e.g. time and fuel consumption) and exhausted gas emission (additional of about 75 - 90 tonnes of NOx emission).
- It is much more costly than the Airport-Channel alignment (estimated increase in construction cost of HK$13 billion).
- It is estimated an extra 15 million cubic meters contaminated mud will be created when compared to the Airport-Channel alignment.
- Lighting and ventilation facilities will require to be operating 24-hours daily inside the kilometers long tunnel at the north side of Airport Island. An increase in energy consumption of 30 million kilowatt hour annually (which will emit approximately 21,000 tonnes CO2) is envisaged.
The government attaches great importance to preserving the dolphin ecology when planning the bridge projects. Our aim is to minimise any impact caused to the dolphins.
An in-depth study by dolphin experts indicates that dolphins occur year-round at Sha Chau/Lung Kwu Chau, Tai O and at and near the west waters of the airport island. Their presence at and near the northeast waters of the airport island and the Brothers Islands are seasonal.
The overall densities, densities of calves, sighting densities of feeding and socialising activities are considerably higher near the west waters of the airport island. Accordingly, we put the boundary crossing facilities northeast of the airport to keep human activities further away from the west waters.
In addition we have formulated specific mitigation measures to be taken during the construction stage according to the experts' recommendation. We will establish an exclusion zone around areas of piling and dredging works to be closely monitored by experienced independent dolphin observers. Once dolphins are found within the zone work will stop until they leave. Besides, we will employ silt curtains and closed-grab during dredging and dumping operations to minimise water quality degradation; and employ bubble curtains/jacket and avoid percussive piling to prevent acoustic disturbance to dolphins. We will also apply restrictions on working vessels to reduce their disturbance to dolphin activities. In addition, we are studying the designation of the Brothers Islands as a marine park in accordance with the statutory process stipulated in the Marine Parks Ordinance to compensate the permanent loss of the dolphin’s habitat arising from the reclamation.
We will continue to do our best towards protecting our dolphins as well as our environment.
The option of incorporating railways into the HZMB has been critically examined considering various factors including demand forecast, engineering requirements, attraction to passengers and compatibility with the planning of railway network in the Pearl River Delta etc.
From engineering perspective, the gradient of a railway line is considerably more demanding than that of a road link. As the HZMB will be constructed in bridge-cum-tunnel form, it will not be possible to accommodate both the freight railway line and the road in the same alignment. Therefore, a separate bridge/tunnel option for the whole alignment of freight railway from Zhuhai to Hong Kong is required.
As the railway line in Lantau and Tsing Ma Bridge were not designed for freight loadings, the cargoes from the train via the HZMB would need to be unloaded in Lantau Island before reloading onto trucks for transportation of freight to Kwai Tsing container ports or other areas in Hong Kong, such operation of which is extremely inconvenient and inefficient, and is unlikely to be commercially viable.
According to the traffic projection, the incorporation of railways into the HZMB would not significantly increase the passenger flow volume, but will increase the project cost significantly. In view of different railway designs in Hong Kong and Mainland, it would also incur additional cost to provide the through train service between Hong Kong and Mainland. If a passenger rail to be incorporated in HZMB, rail passengers would need to change train either in Zhuhai or Hong Kong, which is inconvenient. As such, provision of railways into the HZMB will cause adverse impact on the financial effectiveness of the project.
Accordingly, railway provision in HZMB is not viable from engineering, overall railway planning and financial viability viewpoints.
The name of "Tung O ancient trail" has been widely used by the public. If you search the phrase "Tung O ancient trail" or 「東澳古道」 on the World Wide Web, you will find a number of websites of public organisations, including hiking organisations, youth associations, travel agencies, clubs, etc. using this name. Therefore, it is well-founded to use “Tung O ancient trail” to describe the footpath between Tung Chung to Tai O.
Based on the comments received from the public engagement, the northern landfall at Tuen Mun Area 40 is preferred to be located as far away from the Butterfly Beach as possible to avoid possible environmental impacts to that area. If the northern landfall is to be located close to the Butterfly Beach it will require a larger reclamation for accommodation of the toll plaza and this will result in greater dredging and seabed disturbance. Also, this will create a large embayed area between the reclamation and the River Trade Terminal and floating debris and local water flushing could be a problem. The reclamation may also affect wave action on Butterfly Beach which may have a knock-on effect with respect to the cleanliness of the beach and siltation. Therefore, it is recommended that the northern landfall of TM-CLKL should be located at Tuen Mun Area 40 next to the River Trade Terminal.
If the Southern Connection of TM-CLKL (i.e. the part between Chek Lap Kok and Tung Chung) is built in tunnel form, reclamation works have to be carried out at two ends of the tunnel (i.e. at the south of the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) and at north of Tai Ho), to provide land for the construction of the landfalls for the tunnel and the at-grade connecting roads. The reclamation is also needed to protect the tunnel structure. However, the reclamation works will bring adverse impacts to the navigation channels and marine traffic there. The environment and ecology at the Tai Ho Bay area will also be affected.
As regards the planning of railways, it should be noted that development of transport infrastructure involves substantial investment, and hence in the planning for infrastructure projects, we need to carefully consider various factors including transportation needs, economic and financial benefits, etc., before deciding on the priorities of various infrastructure projects.
At the planning stage of the TM-CLKL, we have considered the viability of incorporating a railway in the TM-CLKL. The TM-CLKL involves the construction of a sub-sea tunnel, and reclamation is required at the landfalls at both ends of the tunnel for the construction of sloping roads for vehicles to climb up to ground level. As the gradient of a railway line is considerably more demanding than that of a road link, a gentler gradient would need to be adopted in order to incorporate a railway, but this will result in substantial increase in the extent of reclamation required, thus affecting existing marine traffic. Therefore, it is not possible to accommodate both the railway line and the road link in the same alignment, and the Government has no plan to include a railway in the TM-CLKL project.
As for the proposal of constructing a separate railway connecting Tuen Mun and Chek Lap Kok, it has to tie in with the overall railway network planning development in Hong Kong. In mid-March 2011, the Government has engaged consultants to review and update the blueprint for railway development based on the Railway Development Strategy 2000 to meet the local and cross-boundary railway transport demands up to 2031; railway service demand between Tuen Mun and Chek Lap Kok/Tung Chung will be included.
It is the HKSAR Government’s policy that local workers must be given priority in filling up job vacancies available in the job market. Only under exceptional circumstance when employers are genuinely unable to recruit local workers to fill their job vacancies, the HKSAR Government may consider the request for importing workers on a case-by-case basis under the Supplementary Labour Scheme. For more information of this scheme, please visit the Labour Department’s web site: