Hong Kong – LCQ16: Utilisation situation of government car parks
LCQ16: Utilisation situation of government car parks
Following is a question by the Hon Chan Hok-fung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, in the Legislative Council today (January 11):
At present, the Transport Department (TD) and the Government Property Agency (GPA) are responsible for the management of more than 20 government car parks and multi-storey public car parks, with the latter responsible for the management of car parks in joint-user government buildings (e.g. Government Offices). However, most of the car parking spaces in the car parks managed by GPA are restricted to the Government’s internal use during daytime on weekdays (i.e. Monday to Friday), and are only opened up for public use during non-office hours (i.e. weekday evenings, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the average utilisation rates of government car parks or car parking spaces managed by government departments (i.e. TD and GPA) during daytime (i.e. from 7am to 7pm) and night-time (i.e. from 7pm to 7am the following day) over the past year, with a breakdown by District Council district; the charges for such car parks or car parking spaces over the past year;
(2) given that individual car parks managed by GPA (e.g. Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices and Chai Wan Municipal Services Building) are opened up for public use during daytime on weekdays, of the criteria based on which the Government determines whether a government car park is opened up for public use during daytime on weekdays;
(3) as some members of the public have relayed to me that the car park of Queensway Government Offices is only for use by government vehicles during daytime on weekdays, but its daily average utilisation rate has been below 25 per cent for a long time, of the hourly utilisation rate of the car park in the past three months; the reasons for the Government not opening up such car park for public use round the clock; and
(4) whether the Government will, having regard to the utilisation situations of some government car parks during daytime on weekdays, open up those car parks for public use round the clock, so as to alleviate the problem of shortage of car parking spaces in urban areas; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Having consulted the Transport and Logistics Bureau and the Environment and Ecology Bureau, my reply to the Member’s question is as follows:
(1) to (3) At present, the Transport Department (TD) provides 10 Government multi-storey public car parks and one car park offering parking spaces for coaches. The car parks are managed by TD through its contractors, and are open for public use throughout the day. The average daytime and night-time utilisation rates of parking spaces for private cars (PC) and vans in the past year and current fees of these 11 government car parks are set out at Annex I and Annex II respectively.
As regards government joint-user general office buildings (JUBs) managed by the Government Property Agency (GPA), the parking spaces in the car parks therein are primarily for official purpose and used by the government user departments of the JUBs. The user departments are responsible for allocating the parking spaces and approving the eligible vehicles list, and take the management responsibility. GPA does not have record of the utilisation rate of the user departments’ parking spaces in car parks of the relevant JUBs.
The primary purpose of car parks at JUBs is for use by vehicles of the user departments or vehicles related to official purpose during office hours. To optimise the use of land resources, GPA regularly consults user departments of JUBs on their operational requirements for parking spaces during non-office hours (normally night-time of weekdays, and Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays). In general, the user departments would take into account whether any of their allocated parking spaces is surplus to their operation needs, and assess from security and operation perspectives the impact of leasing out such surplus parking spaces for operation of fee-paying car parks for public use during non-office hours to them. Subject to the user departments’ agreement and under feasible circumstances, GPA would consider issues including technicalities, management, operation and maintenance in leasing out the relevant surplus parking spaces to contractors to operate fee-paying car parks for public use during non-office hours.
Taking the Queensway Government Offices mentioned in the question as an example, the JUB’s car park provides 190 parking spaces for PC. These parking spaces are for use by government departments for official purpose during office hours. As for non-office hours, GPA has already leased out 159 parking spaces, which are surplus to the user departments’ operational requirements, for use as a fee-paying public car park in accordance with the abovementioned arrangement.
Separately, there are also parking spaces in some JUBs’ car parks, and car parks of other types of government properties (for example, Specialist/Departmental Buildings) that are planned for public use for the whole day (including daytime of weekdays) during the development planning and design stage. Examples are the car parks of the Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices and Chai Wan Municipal Services Building mentioned in the question. On instructions of relevant government departments, GPA has leased out these parking spaces to contractors for operation of fee-paying public car parks.
At present, GPA is leasing out 13 car parks located at JUBs and three car parks at other types of government properties to contractors for operation of fee-paying public car parks. According to information provided by the contractors, the average utilisation rates during the operating hours in the past six months (i.e. from June to November 2022) and the current fees of the car parks are listed at Annex III.
(4) In order to explore the feasibility of making more parking spaces available for leasing out as fee-paying public car parks, GPA would regularly consult the user or management departments of car parks in government properties leased out by GPA on the utilisation of their parking spaces, such as whether there are parking spaces surplus to the departments’ operational requirements during office hours, and whether there are more parking spaces surplus to the departments’ operational requirements during non-office hours.
In recent years, the Government has been continuously pursuing a host of short-term and medium- to long-term measures to increase parking provision, including the provision of parking spaces in suitable “Government, Institution or Community” facilities and public open space projects following the principle of “single site, multiple uses”, designating suitable on-street locations as night-time parking spaces, and taking forward automated parking system projects. Furthermore, TD completed the revision of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines in 2021, which has raised the number of ancillary parking spaces for PCs in private and subsidised housing developments and increased the type and number of parking spaces for commercial vehicles in subsidised housing developments. TD will continue to examine the parking needs of different types of vehicles in various districts and to provide additional on-street parking spaces at suitable locations to meet the short-term parking needs of motorists while ensuring that traffic flow, road safety and the loading/unloading activities of road users will not be affected.