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The Government has been installing barrier-free access facilities at public walkways[Note] for years. In response to public requests, the Government launched in August 2012 a new policy to expand the programme to retrofit barrier-free access facilities at public walkways, striving to create a “universally accessible” environment in the community to facilitate the access to public walkways by the public. Under this policy –

  1. from now on, when considering retrofitting of barrier-free access facilities to existing or newly constructed public walkways, the Government will treat lifts and ramps equally (unless the site conditions dictate one form over the other). This is a change from the past practice which gave priority to ramps; and
  2. as long as site conditions permit, we will consider retrofitting lifts at walkways where there is already a standard ramp installed. After a lift has been retrofitted, we will evaluate whether to keep the ramp or demolish it for more spacious pavement or making way for roadside greening.

Lift opened to publicLift opened to public

With the support of the Panel on Transport and the Panel on Development, the Government obtained approval from the Finance Committee in January 2013 to create a new block allocation Subhead 6101TX – "Universal Accessibility (UA) Programme"; under Capital Works Reserve Fund Head 706 – "Highways" to fund the implementation of the UA Programme.  We also obtained allocations of $2.449 million, $187.272 million, $567.696 million, $803.98 million and $770.9 million in 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively to take forward the works projects under the UA Programme.

Ramp opened to public Lift opened to public

[[Note] : Public walkways refer to the public footbridges, elevated walkways and subways maintained by the Highways Department.]