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The Second Phase

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.

Following the announcement of the initiative to further expand the ambit of the UA Programme in the 2016 Policy Address, from December 2016 to September 2017, we again invited the 18 DCs to each further select not more than three existing walkways proposed by the public under the expanded ambit of the programme for implementation under the next phase of the UA Programme (referred to as the “Second Phase” of the UA Programme).

The 44 items under the Second Phase (Details are here) are being implemented smoothly with 32 items under construction. The remaining 12 items are undergoing investigation or design work, including 9 items on which the HyD has briefed the DCs concerned on the findings of the investigation and the preliminary design. The HyD has also been progressively commencing the detailed design for items found to be technically feasible and supported by the DCs with a view to starting the construction works as soon as possible. The remaining 3 items are situated at or adjacent to other public works projects, and the HyD is co-ordinating the planning of projects with relevant departments.

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

Footbridge across Tung Tau Tsuen Road near Tung Lung Road at Wong Tai Sin District (Structure No. KF73) (Photomontage) Footbridge across Siu Sai Wan Road near Bus Terminus at Eastern District (Structure No. HF138) (Photomontage)