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政府就高鐵新方案發表失實指控 公專聯詳細回應並發出律師信

5.1.2010

公共專業聯盟的「新高鐵專家組」在2009年10月7日發表了名為「貫通南北」的新高鐵方案後,引起公眾熱烈討論,隨後獲立法會鐵路事宜小組委員會邀請,在11月6日出席會議解釋新方案。專家組成員義務投入大量人力物力,目的是引發社會進行基於事實與科學的討論,最後促使政府採納一個符合最大公眾利益的方案。

自新方案發表後,政府代表與專家組舉行了一次會議,此後即中斷正式接觸,表示拒絕再研究新方案,並在多個不同場合向立法會、政黨和傳媒對新方案提出多項質疑,一直至今。專家組歡迎不同意見的交流及基於事實的辯論,可惜政府代表在兩個多月來的討論中,不斷重覆一些偏離事實的言論,甚至虛構新方案的內容,跨大數據和困難,以達致抹黑新方案的目的。

專家組歸納了政府和親政府陣營抹黑新方案的十個重點,包括:

強加西九站的設計於錦上路,從而否定專家組的車站設計。

車站需要大量地下設施。

誇大車站週邊之道路工程。

興建新方案時需將錦田河改道。

新方案走線影響吉慶圍與沙埔村。

誇大車廠所需佔地。

錯誤假設機場快線客量會隨機場旅客人次增長。

跨大建造藍巴勒橋的困難和法律程序。

忽視專家組提出之優化列車班次圖表。

跨大新方案的施工需時和預計造價。

 並在今天發表了詳細文件,逐點反駁了這些失實和跨大的指控。

 舉例說,新方案須建設一條快線連接錦上路和青衣站,包含一條橫跨藍巴勒海峽的鐵路橋。政府指稱這條橋須在海上建橋礅,變成填海工程,違反「保護海港條例」,因此非常困難。其實政府明知,「保護海港條例」並非禁止填海,只要工程能夠符合「凌駕性公眾需要」的要求,便可以如常進行。例如正在施工的中環至灣仔繞道,正在設計的沙中線鐵路,都牽涉類似的填海工程,均是正常實施程序的一部份。再者,剛通車的昂船洲大橋的跨度已有1018米,如果要避免興建橋礅,藍巴勒海峽的鐵路橋亦只須約640米的跨度,技術上完全可行。政府這些跨大困難,把正常程序視為技術障礙的指控,顯然是不公道、不誠實和不專業。

 有鑑於此,公共專業聯盟今天向特區政府發出一封律師信,提醒政府官員不要再作出虛構、跨大和失實的指控。(見附函)

 鑑於以上的特殊情况,公共專業聯盟已於昨天去函立法會財委會主席劉慧卿議員,要求在1月8日的會議上,騰出30分鐘供專家組成員解說,以便立法會能履行程序公義,並使財委會成員能夠掌握全面資訊,為公眾對高鐵項目作出負責任的決定。(見附函)

 針對早前香港工程師學會對於新方案的書面「評估」,專家組成員李澤敏工程師亦於今天發表了回應文件,指出該「評估」的多項誤解和粗疏之處。

附件:

1.     公共專業聯盟致特區政府律師信

2.     公共專業聯盟致立法會財委會主席劉慧卿議員的函件

附件 1:

公共專業聯盟致特區政府律師信

Our ref: AW/60458/10/A 

By FAX(2868 4643) & POST

Secretary for Transport and Housing

14-16/F Murray Building

Garden Road, Central

Hong Kong 

(Attn: Ms. Eva Cheng) 

Dear Madam, 
 

Re: Express Rail Link Alternative Proposal by The Professional Commons Limited 
 

We act for The Professional Commons Limited (“our client”). Our client is a public policy think tank dedicated to research on public policies in Hong Kong. As you know, our client has recently conducted a study and published a public policy proposal regarding the construction of the Hongkong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hongkong Express Rail Link (the “Proposal”). The Proposal was put together by a group of professionals who are experts on railway, engineering, planning, transport and other related professional fields.  Our client publicly promotes the Proposal, as an alternative to the one currently suggested by your bureau, in the hope that both the public and the Government could determine which proposal is more cost-effective and serves better Hongkong’s long term interest. 

However, we are instructed that in recent public statements issued by the Government, you and your officials had deliberately or inadvertently given several misleading statements to the public regarding the various features and details of the Proposal. They are as follows:  
 

  1. Terminus Footprint

 

    The Proposal involves building a terminus at Kam Sheung Road which is smaller than that at the West Kowloon as proposed by the Government due to the ability of trains to pass to the south and to the depot without conflict with trains entering from the north. 
    However, the Government made an assumption, which our client strongly disagrees, that the terminus is of the same size as that at West Kowloon and hence needs a larger footprint and requires the realignment / diversion of the Route 3 Highway. 

      We are instructed that the above assumption is incorrect. 

  1. Need to divert Kam Tin River

 

    When considering the alignment to the north, the Government assumed that the Kam Tin River needs to be diverted and hence requires resumption of new housing in Kat Hing Wai and Sha Po Tsuen.  Indeed, when you study in details the alignment contained in the Proposal, you would notice that the aforesaid areas are avoided and does not require any major river diversion. 
  1. Kam Sheung Road Station

 

    Although the Government was already told on 12 October 2009 that our client had proposals for both an underground and an above ground station, it was made clear that the above ground station was the preferred option and was the one being carried forward for more detailed development.  However, the Government still presented our client’s scheme with the arrival and departure concourses at underground only with a car park at sub-basement level inferring that this was how our scheme would be developed.  
    Had Government consulted our client further, they would have been advised that only minimal works would be underground with concourses and car parking either below or above the rail tracks. 
  1. Capacity for the Hong Kong Island Express

 

    The Government’s assertions are that the number of Airport Express passengers are proportional to the Hongkong International Airport (“HKIA”) throughput capacity on the Airport Railway. This is misleading as the number of passengers on the Airport Express has remained roughly the same since the airport opening in 1998 notwithstanding the increase in HKIA throughput. The Government has thus given a misleading analysis of the capacity on the Airport Railway required for the Airport Express Service.  
  1. Train Graphs

 

    At the Legco Railways Subcommittee (“the Subcommittee”) meeting on 6 November 2009, the Government presented train graphs which showed a conflict of service with the number of trains proposed by our client.  Nevertheless, these graphs failed to incorporate fundamentals of train scheduling utilising station dwell times.  We are of the view that such failure of incorporation was a deliberate move to present a misleading picture to the Subcommittee.  Our client has since produced train graphs, with the above fundamentals incorporated, to show that there would not be any conflicts.  However, in an interview with the media on 31 December 2009 the Director of Highways still repeated to the media that there would be 15 unresolvable conflicts in a 30-minute interval during the section between Kowloon Station and Hong Kong Station, which is a clear misrepresentation of our client’s proposed services. 
  1. Protection of the Harbour Ordinance

 

    A group at the Subcommittee meeting on 6 November 2009 relied on the “Protection of the Harbour Ordinance" (“the Ordinance”) as a reason for requiring a very long span across the Rambler Channel for the Hong Kong Island Express.  In that event, it is supposed that piers have to be constructed along the span.  In an interview with the media on 31 December 2009, this was taken up by the Director of Highways in his criticism of the Proposal.  He said that a pier (or piers) in the Rambler Channel would pose difficulties. However, your Bureau or the Director of Highways should notice that principle and procedure are already laid down under the Ordinance for compliance and there is no suggestion that a pier or piers would not be accepted under the Ordinance since the Express Rail Link is considered by the Government to be a project of overriding public needs.   
  1. Construction Costs and Construction Programme

 

    Due to those various incorrect or misleading assumptions made by the Government in respect of the Proposal, the Government accordingly made an incorrect estimate of the cost and time of construction under the Proposal. 

In the circumstances, we are instructed to emphasize, which we hereby do, that as public officials, you or your Bureau should have a duty to present the Proposal to the public in a fair, non-biased and objective manner. Any misrepresentation or misleading comment about the Proposal made by your Bureau would tarnish and/or lower the professional image and reputation of our client as well as the individual professionals involved in preparing the Proposal. 

We hereby request that you and your Bureau shall refrain from making any further similar misleading statements about the Proposal in all your future communication with the public and shall instruct your officials to do the same. 

In the meantime, all our client’s rights are reserved. 

Yours faithfully, 
 

Yip, Tse & Tang 
 

Aw 

c.c. client 
 

附件2:公共專業聯盟致立法會財委會主席劉慧卿議員的函件

香港特別行政區
立法會
財務委員會主席
劉慧卿議員
 
尊敬的劉慧卿議員:
 
關於:財委會審議高鐵撥款
 
您好!得悉立法會財委會將於2010年1月8日審議高速鐵路撥款事宜,我謹代表公共專業聯盟的「新高鐵專家組」(下稱「專家組」) ,要求派員出席上述會議,理由如下:
 
專家組在2009年10月7日發表了名為「貫通南北」的新高鐵方案後,引起公眾熱烈討論,隨後獲立法會鐵路事宜小組委員會邀請,在11月6日出席會議解釋新方案,政府代表在同一會議上對新方案提出多項質疑。
 
一、為了向議員解答政府的質疑,專家組曾在11月10日、15日及17日三次致函立法會鐵路事宜小組委員會,要求派員出席會議,但均不得要領。劉健儀議員更在17日的會議上誤稱專家組一直沒有解答政府的質疑 (儘管專家組已在15日向立法會提出兩份技術文件,見要求劉健儀議員致歉的附函) ,使議員產生誤解,而這些誤解在隨後的立法會會議上一直沒有得到糾正,但政府代表則在立法會會議上,不斷質疑專家組的方案。因此,為了確保程序公義,財委會有義務讓專家組成員出席會議,以示公允,並讓議員充份掌握正反兩方的資訊。
 
二、另一方面,專家組最近獲得兩份政府當局有關高鐵的文件,而這些文件均未有向全體立法會議員公開,專家組成員願意將有關文件的分析向議員解說,免使議員在欠缺資訊的情況下作出決定。
 
鑑於以上的特殊情况,我懇請財委會在1月8日的會議上,騰出30分鐘供專家組成員解說,以便立法會能履行程序公義,並使財委會成員能夠掌握全面資訊,為公眾對高鐵項目作出負責任的決定。
 
候覆。

One Comment leave one →
  1. Julius permalink
    一月 11, 2010 10:48 上午

    Submitted to SCMP in Nove 2009 FYI

    As an owner of a Small Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) with offices in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, I commute between these two locations regularly either by coach (from Wanchai to Garden Hotel) or by train (from Hung Hom station to Guangzhou’s East Station). Both commutes are slightly over 3 hours door-to-door on normal days.

    I have been following with great interest the new through-train from West Kowloon to Guangzhou which promises a 48-minute commute which I have been awaiting with great expectation since it holds great promise in cutting my travel time. However, upon further consideration I deduced that the total travel time would not improve upon my current travel time at all. It would take 30 minutes to get to West Kowloon from our Wanchai office then 48 minutes to Shibi (Panyu / Guanghzhou) and then another 60 minutes at least to get to Garden Hotel. When you take into account the waiting time incurred during transfers, the total journey time will still be about 3 hours door-to-door including 3 transfers, not to mention the hassle factor associated with switching between transport systems 3 times during the journey and having to incur higher travelling costs.

    It seems churlish to proceed with a such an expensive project when the benefits are hardly discernible. Am I missing the point here?

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