Together we Achieve the Vision of the Northern Link
We attach great importance to the views and opinions of different stakeholders when designing and constructing the Northern Link project. We integrate diversity and inclusion into every aspect of our work, as every voice matters. Understanding the needs and expectations from various sectors of the society on project delivery helps us better balance the interests of different stakeholders. It also motivates us to build the Northern Link to meet society’s future needs, ensuring the long-term sustainable development of the Northern Link.
Creating Value for our Stakeholders
The MTR Corporation has taken an active approach to conducting continuous dialogue with different stakeholders on the Northern Link project. In addition to consulting the public and community stakeholders in a timely manner, we maintain close contact with various parties to listen to their opinions and share updates, aiming to enhance multiple aspects of the project. We engage diverse stakeholders, which include but are not limited to the following:
Create Value for our Stakeholders
Rural Committees and rural representatives
Helping you Know, Understand and Participate in the Northern Link project
We actively conduct effective communications and maintain close liaison with different stakeholders via diversified channels and formats, hoping the Northern Link project can be better integrated into the community. Our communication channels include but are not limited to the following:
Community Liaison Groups
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We have formulated construction schemes based on the recommendations proposed in the Environmental Impact Assessment and implemented mitigation measures during the construction period as needed, seeking to avoid or minimise the project’s potential impacts on nearby communities and the environment. We also conduct regular environmental monitoring throughout the project delivery to audit and review the effectiveness of mitigation measures. Appropriate follow-up actions are taken based on the monitoring results to ensure that the project meets statutory requirements. Relevant monitoring data and reports have also been submitted to relevant government departments and made available for public inspection.
Take the traffic arrangements near a construction site as an example. Before commencing construction, we hire a traffic consultant to conduct a traffic impact assessment on the project and formulate temporary traffic control measures as needed. We then submit the assessment and proposed measures to the relevant government departments for approval before implementation. Throughout the period, we maintain communications with nearby communities and listen to their opinions, seeking to minimise potential work impacts on road users.
Station and Entrance / Exit Locations
When planning the locations of the Northern Link stations, we have considered the overall development of the area, for example, population distribution and growth; current and future land planning and housing development; technical feasibility, such as required construction technologies, the time needed for construction and its predictability; as well as the surrounding environment, such as geological and geographical conditions. Potential impacts of the station construction on the environment and ecology are also taken into account to ensure station locations align with sustainable development.
Regarding the set-up of station entrances and exits, after finalising the proposed station locations, we formulate the number and location of entrances and exits for each station based on the projected passenger flow at different locations of the stations, planning and distribution of surrounding facilities, technical feasibility, statutory requirements and passenger travel needs such as ideal walking distances, aiming to provide residents with convenient access to the stations and neighbouring places.
Rural and Heritage Conservation
At every project stage, we maintain close contact with government departments and district representatives to adequately protect historic buildings and cultural relics along the alignment. Besides, we have endeavoured to avoid or alleviate potential impacts from the Northern Link project on the surrounding communities, rural Feng Shui and customs, public space and facilities where feasible. For instance, we have adopted an underground railway alignment scheme and station design, which is more conducive to sustainable development than the above-ground option, providing more flexibility for the future use and development of the above-ground lands. We also adopt construction schemes with fewer impacts on the surrounding environment while strictly supervising contractors to implement appropriate mitigation measures, etc. During the construction period, some existing community facilities may be affected. When relocating the relevant community facilities, we will also take the opportunity to improve some existing community facilities where feasible to enhance residents’ quality of life.
Like other public infrastructure facilities built underground, implementing new railway projects may inevitably require the resumption of parts of the land or strata along the alignment for works purposes. We have maintained communications with district representatives and villagers according to the established mechanism, village customs and experience of past railway projects. These include setting up Community Liaison Groups to listen to the community’s opinions and coordinate matters of concern. Depending on the project arrangement, we have performed the relevant work by seeking to acquire the least amount of land or strata possible. It is worth noting that the resumption of the strata will not affect the current land use on the ground or the safety of building structures.
The Northern Link project includes the construction of Kwu Tung Station on the East Rail Line; as well as the Northern Link between Kwu Tung and Kam Sheung Road stations connecting the East Rail Line and the Tuen Ma Line. It will make travelling across various districts easier for residents along the alignment. When planning and designing the Northern Link, we have assessed future transportation needs, including the carrying capacity of the East Rail Line and Tuen Ma Line following the service commencement of the Northern Link, to formulate comprehensive interchange arrangements with a view to meeting the travel needs of passengers and enhancing the overall public transport and railway network in Hong Kong.
In fact, we have been closely monitoring the carrying capacity of the East Rail Line and the Tuen Ma Line during peak hours. Measures have also been implemented to ensure the train frequency can cope with the passenger flow and meet the service demand, for example, by arranging short-haul special trips based on train service situations, deploying Platform Assistants to support the implementation of passenger diversion measures, offering early bird discounts, etc. In addition, we are applying innovative technologies to divert passenger flow, which includes providing a "Train Car Loading Indicator" on all Tuen Ma Line and East Rail Line platforms and via MTR Mobile to facilitate passengers to choose and board train cars with more space.