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Councillors worry about Hengqin checkpoint vehicle arrangements

Taipa and Coloane Community Service Consultative Council member Lam Ka Chun said that the council’s members are concerned about the current vehicular restrictions when entering the Lotus Flower Bridge en route to the Macao side of the Hengqin checkpoint.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:43 am

Taipa and Coloane Community Service Consultative Council member Lam Ka Chun said on Tuesday that the council’s members are concerned about the current vehicular restrictions when entering the Lotus Flower Bridge en route to the Macao side of the Hengqin checkpoint.

Lam made the remarks on Tuesday during a post-closed-door meeting press briefing at the Islands District Public Services Centre in Seac Pai Van.

According to Lam, the current arrangements for the Lotus Flower Bridge is only open to cars with a dual Macao-mainland registration plate, Macao-registered cars with a permit to enter Hengqin, public buses (Routes 25B, 50 and 701X), local taxis, local hotel coaches and government vehicles. Other Macao-registered cars are all excluded. Lam noted that other Macao registered private vehicles are still not allowed to use the bridge due to ongoing construction.

Lam said that the councillors asked Transport Bureau (DSAT) officials during Tuesday’s meeting when Macao’s private vehicles could cross the bridge and enter the city’s side of the checkpoint. The DSAT officials said it depended on when the construction is finished. He also said that only two lanes (one lane in each direction) are currently in use on the bridge, adding that the DSAT officials said that the bridge would open for private vehicles when more lanes are ready. Lam stressed that the officials did not mention an approximate time as to when the construction would be completed.

Lam noted that there are 380 buses crossing the Lotus Bridge every day, adding that, on average, the buses carried 2,800 people per day until late last month. Lam pointed out that the daily peak reached 3,800 passengers.

Fellow councillor Lao Fung Meng said that the DSAT officials said that the route 701X buses between Lotus Bridge checkpoint and Hengqin checkpoint arrive every 20-30 minutes. Lao said the officials said they would increase the buses’ frequency when needed.

Lao also said the councillors expressed the hope that the 701X route bus stop could be located closer to the Light Rail Train (LRT) Lotus Checkpoint Station, since currently the bus stop is 300 metres away from the station. Lao said the officials said they would consider the suggestion.

Si Nei Na, deputy convener of the Taipa and Coloane Community Service Consultative Council, said that more parking spaces would be needed once the bridge is open to all private vehicles. Si quoted the officials as saying that since the current checkpoint only used three quarters of the available land, the bureau would plan for more parking spaces.

Prior to the closed-door meeting, Lao expressed concern about the unstable WiFi at the Hengqin checkpoint, pointing out that when crossing the border, it is required to convert the Macao Health Code to the Guangdong Health Code for which a stable WiFi connectivity is needed. Lao urged the government to improve the quality of the WiFi, so that people could cross the border more smoothly.

(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © The Macau Post Daily/Prisca Tang

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:43 am

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