More space for cars – outside Hong Kong

Renewed relevance for the HK-Zhuhai Bridge – parking spaces for (eventually) 6,000 cars at a location much but not all of the way from Zhuhai to Hong Kong…

“You can also park your car there even if you don’t have a flight. You can go directly to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Port and that counts as an arrival entry.”

By ‘port’ they mean the bridge’s vast immigration complex near the airport. You could put a whole town there.

But who do they mean by ‘you’? The SCMP story makes clear that this is aimed at Mainland car owners, particularly those heading to the airport.

But it’s not exactly super-convenient. You (ie they) still have to take a bus after getting to the ‘port’, as Hong Kong proper doesn’t have enough capacity for extra cars on its streets. 

And why is it such a big deal for driving to the ‘port’ to count as an ‘arrival entry’?

In theory, the idea is to lure more Mainland passengers to fly out of Hong Kong, though it also looks like a desperate attempt to get some traffic onto the massive underutilized fixed link. I went over the bridge on a recent trip to Macau – for fun – and counted the vehicles zipping by on the three lanes in the other direction for one minute at around 10.30am: two cars, one truck and one bus. Or maybe the bureaucrats want more objects, of some sort, to make all that concrete expanse look vaguely busy.

(The immigration halls at both the Hong Kong and Macau ends are similarly vast and 95% empty. It really looks and feels like the whole system was designed for 20 times more users than it attracts.)

From HKFP – a ‘head to head’ on Article 23. On the skeptics’ side, journalist and lecturer Chris Yeung outlines the concerns of the press. On the ‘pro’ side, People’s Party lawmaker and nephew of a former Macau Chief Executive Adrian Ho says ‘only in a safe environment can freedom flourish’ and other government talking points. In fairness, he doesn’t overdo the laborious official line about Western countries also having NatSec laws.

We all know that calling for international sanctions against Hong Kong officials is collusion or subversion or whatever. Ask Ted Hui. But what about asking for sanctions to be lifted on one?

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10 Responses to More space for cars – outside Hong Kong

  1. obey the emperor says:

    Re “pointlessly-large immigration halls of the Xi era”, it’s the Taipa ferry terminal for the win. Easily 20 times larger than needed. And clearly designed and built by the correct people. The North-Koreafication continues.

  2. Departing soon says:

    The 6000 parking spaces are also intended deliver passengers to Hong Kong international airport, and its new third runway.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    “The immigration halls at both the Hong Kong and Macau ends are similarly vast and 95% empty. It really looks and feels like the whole system was designed for 20 times more users than it attracts.”

    When your neighbor has well over a BILLION people but none are interested in coming over for a look-see, you know you’re flocked.

  4. Old Mind Doctor says:

    I’ve never understood this mantra of ‘safeguarding the city’.

    From what? Any answer is only couched in the most nebulous terms. And most certainly not from safeguarding erosion of Hong Kong’s unique raison d’etre.

  5. Been Here Too Long says:

    I took a bus to Macau over the bridge not long after it had just opened. It was all very smooth until we got out of customs at the Macau side. The traffic was so bad it took us 40 minutes to get from the customs at the Macau end of the bridge to the hydrofoil terminal in Macau.

  6. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    What about criticizing Hemlock and other moaners about the HK-Macao-Zhuhai Bridge?

    I have spent a large part of my career in the planning, financing, and building of infrastructure projects.

    It is very normal, if not even desirable that large transport-related infrastructure such as roads, bridges, tunnels, rails, and respective terminals (including also cruise terminals!) will not be fully utilized right after their completion. Utilization will grow over time, could be 20 years or more, through economic development, diversion of traffic, and what the experts call ‘induced utilization’. So, I am absolutely not surprised at the low traffic on the bridge.

    As an example: The HK Eastern Harbour Tunnel, after completion lost money for years because traffic was way less than originally expected. Does anybody today have the feeling that it is a white elephant?

    So, please stop moaning all the time.

    Kwun Tong Bypass

  7. Joe Blow says:

    @ Kwun Tong Bypass: why is it that all Hong Kong mega projects are always over budget and beyond schedule? Since you worked in the industry, to what extent are senior civil servants beholden to the property and construction industry, and how many gazillion dollars of tax money have been wasted in this corrupt construct? And how much did you get out of it?

  8. Natashs Fatale says:

    @Kwun Tong Bypass

    You make a fair point.

    If the bridge was built with long-term growth in mind, why wasn’t a passenger rail line included?

  9. Ping Che says:

    @Kwun Tong Bypass: I think the issue with the Eastern (and later Western) Harbour Tunnel had more to do with initial pricing.

    From my experience most of Hong Kong drivers don’t mind waiting in gridlock for an hour or two if they can save HKD 10.- in tunnel fees.

    Once the prices came down, the utilization of the tunnels went up.

  10. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    @Joe Blow
    Legitimate question. Let me try in a few sentences. Government decisions are not purely commercial decisions. The poor guys have to consider many other factors, local trade and suppliers, etc and likely, vested interest pressure. But I think the real problem is political and whatever interference, changes and improvements: legitimate or caused by oversight or errors after construction has started.
    Every contractor who offered a cut-throat price to get the deal just loves the client (government) to come up with all kinds of changes and extras.
    The contractor will happily submit so called ‚Variation orders‘ which due to time pressure cannot be negotiated and the contractor walks away with a fat profit, and usually a time extension.

    I do not know.
    Rail connections on either side?
    Trains might also have difficulties overcoming the gradient in and out of the undersea tunnels.

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