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Next Phase of the UA Programme

The scope of the new policy announced by the Government in August 2012 covers the public walkways[Note] maintained by the Highways Department (HyD). However, some walkways proposed by the public for lifts retrofitting are not public walkways and are therefore beyond the scope of the “Universal Accessibility” (UA) Programme. After reviewing the circumstances, we propose to enhance the Programme so as to strike a balance between the principle of prudent use of public funds and responding to public aspirations. In the 2016 Policy Address, the Government announced that starting from the fourth quarter of that year, we would invite the District Councils (DCs) to further nominate not more than three existing walkways in each district for the second phase of the UA Programme. The walkways eligible for selection by the DCs are no longer confined to public walkways maintained by the HyD, provided that the following criteria are met and no land resumption would be involved to ensure the proper use of public funds:

  1. the walkways span across public roads maintained by the HyD;
  2. they are open for public access from public roads at all times;
  3. the walkways are not privately owned; and
  4. the parties responsible for the management and maintenance of these walkways agree to such lift retrofitting proposals and are willing to cooperate with the Government during the implementation of the said lift retrofitting works as well as the subsequent management and maintenance works of the lifts.

We have, starting from December 2016, invited the 18 DCs each to further nominate not more than three existing walkways in their districts for implementation in the next phase of the UA Programme (referred to as the “Next Phase”). The DC consultation exercise has been largely completed in September 2017. In general, the DCs are highly supportive of the Next Phase and have selected a total of 45 walkways for implementation of the lift retrofitting works in the Next Phase. (Details are here) .

In September 2017, we have engaged consultants to carry out the investigation for these newly selected lift retrofitting items. Upon completion of the investigation, the DCs will be briefed on the findings and the preliminary schemes of the items. The detailed design work for those schemes confirmed to be technically feasible and supported by the respective DCs will commence afterwards. The construction works of the Next Phase are anticipated to commence progressively starting from the financial year 2019-20.

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