Over 200 residents participated in a bicycle demonstration on Sunday, riding form Sha Tin to Tai Po to oppose the expansion of Ting Kok road, Oriental Daily reported.
A document drafted in 2011 by the Tai Po District Council proposed to expand the current two-lane vehicle route of Ting Kok road to four lanes to meet the increasing traffic after the completion of the Lung Mei artificial beach, which is also a controversial project opposed by environmental groups.
If the proposal is passed, it is likely that the 3-kilometer cycle route will disappear, S.M. Li, a green group leader, said at a press conference held earlier this month. It will also affect the eco system of the sea and even some ancient buildings, he said.
A member of the District Council responded to the proposal. “We don’t want the cycle route to be invaded either,” Chueng Kwok-wai said, “It depends on which section the road is in. If there is space beside the road, I think we should expand the road by moving the cycle route outward and do not change its width and affect people’s riding,” Chueng said.
Ting Kok road winds three kilometers from Sam Mun Tsai road to Tai Mei Tuk. Its cycle route beside the vehicle lane is among the few cycle routs in Hong Kong. Tourists and residents enjoy their weekends riding and jogging on the road. On one side of the road is the sea and Lung Mei beach and on the other is the village and the houses.
Although the Tai Po District Council didn’t clearly point out in its document that the cycle route will be invaded, green groups and residents still worry that the cycle route will be invaded. “Neither will they fill in the sea to construct the road nor knock down the houses, so it seems that invading the bicycle route is the only method,” Li, the green group leader said.
Woo Kwok ping, 34, lives in Tai Po and usually takes her children to ride bicycles in Ting Kok road. “That will be a terrible shame if it will include the bicycle path. And it’s very dangerous as well, because a lot of people do use them,” she said.