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Objections force delay to Hong Kong's Route 10

HONG KONG transport officials have postponed plans to build large sections of the HK$24bn (£2bn) Route 10 North Lantau-Yuen Long highway in the face of massive opposition from residents and lawmakers.

Transport secretary Nicholas Ng Wing-fui said the northern section of the highway in the north west New Territories between So Kwun Wat and Yuen Long would be deferred for at least three years.

Plans for the northern segment had resulted in nearly 600 objections. Among them was CPS Company, the private toll concession holder for a 10km section of Route 3 running parallel to part of Route 10, which is to be toll free (NCE 29 March).

Ng Wing-fui told legislators that traffic forecasts have failed to meet expectations and that existing routes could handle vehicle growth until at least 2010.

He told legislators that the £420M Chok Ko Wan link road, which forms part of Route 10's southern approach to the Tsing Lung bridge between Lantau Island and the New Territories, would also be reconsidered.

The only sections of Route 10 to escape unscathed are the Tsing Lung bridge itself and the southern section of Route 10 along the coast at Tai Lam.

A senior Highways Department official confirmed that a team of consultants, including Maunsell Consultants Asia, is continuing to work on the design of the Tsing Lung bridge and the highway to Tai Lam.

But he added: 'Maunsell is looking at (the existing road) connections in the south' including the possibility of providing a direct link with the North Lantau Highway.

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