The Opening Ceremony of the Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games will be staged this Saturday (December 5) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza and the Victoria Harbour. To better prepare the public to participate in the various events and activities of the EAG, a joint press conference chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau, and related government departments was held today (December 1) to announce the traffic arrangements and crowd management during the opening ceremony and the Games period.
Mrs Yau hoped that people could understand and cooperate with the implemented special traffic arrangements and crowd management. Mrs Yau was confident that the EAG would be successfully staged with the support and participation of people. She also called on members of the public to wear red or carry red accessories on Saturday to celebrate the joyful opening of the EAG.
At today’s press conference, the Chief Executive Officer of 2009 East Asian Games (Hong Kong) Limited, Mr Johnny Woo, introduced the programmes of the Opening Ceremony and pointed out the issues that spectators should pay attention to. The Opening Ceremony will feature ceremonial rituals, cultural performances, parade of adorned vessels, lighting of the EAG flame and firework displays. As distinct from previous firework display, the fireworks and pyrotechnics will be discharged from four barges and ten buildings simultaneously. To suit the proceeding of the cultural performances and the ceremonial rituals, the firework display, which will be discharged in seven phases, will start with the countdown from 7.59pm. The magnificent firework display will last for 15 minutes to conclude the ceremony and can be watched on both sides of the Victoria Harbour.
The pre-show of the Opening Ceremony, featuring singing and dancing performances, will start at 6.30pm. Mr Woo said that everyone entering EAG venues had to go through security checks and reminded spectators to reserve sufficient time to enter the venue to avoid delay due to road closure and crowd jamming. Ticket holders should be seated by 7pm.
The parade of the adorned vessels will start from Tsim Sha Tsui East, via Avenue of Stars, Cultural Centre to reach Central Pier. People can watch the parade in Tsim Sha Tsui and Central. To cater for people outside of the ceremony venue, giant TV walls will be set up for live broadcast of the ceremony. Locations with these giant TV walls are near the Central Pier (3); Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai (3); waterfront of Wan Chai (2); near bus terminus of Wan Chai Pier (1). In Kowloon, they are at Austin Road West in Tsim Sha Tsui (two) and bus terminus of Tsim Sha Tsui Pier (two). The adorned vessels will be on display at the waterfront of Wan Chai between 9am and 10pm on December 6 for the people to take photos at short distance.
Mr Woo said that apart from two giant TV walls set at the West Kowloon Promenade, there will be food stalls and performances running there. Performers in national costume of the EAG participating places will stage performances, including juggling balls, magic show and silent comedy. The EAG mascots, Dony and Ami will also be there to greet people.
Apart from the ceremony venue, big shopping malls throughout the territory will hold celebration shows to share the joy with people, to make the day a great party for the whole city to greet the EAG.
Mr Woo advised people watching the EAG competition events to note the following:
Use of public transport as far as possible – the EAG Organiser will provide free shuttle service at 8am on game day (December 5) to connect ticket-holders to and from the distant Hong Kong Jockey Club International BMX Park. Ticket-holders can board the buses at the designated bus stop outside Kwai Fong MTR station. Road closure and special traffic arrangements will be implemented for individual sports, including Rugby Sevens, football, athletics and cycling road races and people should pay attention to the notices issued by the Transport Department;
Reserve sufficient time to go to competition venues - everyone entering EAG venues had to go through security checks, people are advised not to bring along too many items to avoid delay;
Observe the house rules of the venues – house rules are set to maintain order and the smooth running of the activity, people should pay attention to the instructions of the EAG staff;
Check the EAG competition schedule – as the schedules of competition events will be adjusted in accordance with the number of athletes and teams taking part in individual events, people are advised to browse the EAG website for updated information before they set off for the venues.
As for the dress rehearsal of the EAG Opening Ceremony, Mr Woo revealed that the stage rehearsal will take place at 8am from December 1 to 4 while those for the vessels and lighting will be held from 11pm to minimize the impact on marine traffic.
The Marine Officer (Harbour Patrol Section) of the Marine Department, Mr Cheng Lung-tak, said that to facilitate the ceremony, two water areas will be closed to all marine traffic except those vessels which are directly involved in the opening ceremony, or vessels that have been given special permission from the Director of Marine for moving in the areas.
The water areas to be closed are:
(a) The area for the barges for the fireworks display between 2pm and 11pm; and
(b) The area for the boat parade, cultural performances and fireworks display between 7pm and 10.15pm.
The boundaries of the two closed areas are shown at Annex.
A number of launches of the Marine Department, Marine Police and Fire Services Department will patrol or station in the Central Harbour. These Government vessels will exhibit either flashing red lights or flashing blue lights. Masters and coxswains should follow directions given by these vessels.
Chief Superintendent, Mr. Ng Ka-sing of Police Public Relations Branch said,”Police will implement crowd management measures and special traffic arrangements on both sides of Victoria Harbour to facilitate public participation of the East Asian Games Opening Ceremony cum firework display and to ensure public safety."
"To avoid overcrowding along the waterfronts on both sides of the harbour, Police will implement road closures and traffic diversions in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hung Hom, Central and Wan Chai. Road closures will begin to implement in phases at 5pm, and pedestrianisation will cover most carriageways in Tsim Sha Tsui area.
"Spectators going to the waterfronts should use public transports whenever possible, and should not stay waiting inside MTR station concourses or passageways. They should follow police advice, posters and loudspeaker broadcasts on the evening."
The Transport Department (TD) will implement special traffic arrangements and adjust public transport services by phases on December 5 for the Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games (EAG) and its Opening Ceremony, Principal Transport Officer /Urban of the TD, Mr Albert Su, said.
“While there will be no road closure at the competition venue of the BMX Cycling Race in Kwai Chung, traffic control measures will be stepped up to prohibit unauthorised vehicles from entering the venue. Spectators are required to take the free shuttle bus service at the Kwai Fong Station bus terminus to gain access to the competition venue”, Mr Su explained.
On Hong Kong Island, special traffic and transport arrangements will be implemented from about 7.00 am at the Hong Kong Stadium and its vicinity to facilitate the arrival of spectators of the Rugby Sevens matches. The Caroline Hill Road and Eastern Hospital Road will be re-routed into one-way anti-clockwise direction, and will subsequently be closed to all vehicular traffic from about 3.25 pm to facilitate crowd dispersal. Meanwhile, 14 bus routes and three green mini-bus (GMB) routes operating in the vicinity will be diverted, and some of the bus stops and GMB stops along Leighton Road will also be suspended. A special bus route no. 117R will be operated from Hong Kong Stadium to Mong Kok during the dispersal phase in the afternoon.
“To facilitate the smooth holding of the Opening Ceremony, temporary road closures and traffic diversions will be implemented in phases from 5.00 pm at Lower Peak Tram Station, Wan Chai, Central, Admiralty, the Peak on the Hong Kong Island, and in Tsim Sha Tsui and Jordan in Kowloon. Public transport services, including franchised bus services, GMB services, cross-boundary coach services operating to and from the affected areas will be re-routed, suspended or truncated. Stops for these services together with the taxi stands and on-street parking spaces within the road closure areas will also be suspended or relocated as appropriate”, Mr Su said.
Mr Su stressed that ferry passengers should pay attention to the service adjustment of the seven inner harbour services and the seven outlying island services plying between Central and the outlying islands, i.e. Cheung Chau, Mui Wo, Peng Chau, Ma Wan, Discovery Bay, Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan as a result of the temporary closure of the Victoria Harbour. Residents and ferry passengers of outlying islands should take note of the flyers distributed by the TD at ferry piers and the notices posted at ferry piers by ferry services operators to better understand the cancelled sailings, the departure times of the sailings before and after harbour reopening on December 5. They are also advised to plan their itineraries in advance and allow ample time for travelling. MTR, tram and peak tram services will also be strengthened as appropriate to cater for passenger demand.
“Passengers of public transport services are advised to watch out the arrangements of route diversions and truncation, service cancellation and reduction, as well as relocation of stops. Notices will be displayed by public transport operators to advise passengers of the temporary public transport arrangements.”
“Members of the public, especially those who will attend wedding ceremonies in Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and Wan Chai, are advised to pay particular attention to the traffic control and road closure arrangements, to plan their itineraries early and allow more travelling time to cater for unexpected delay.”
Mr Su also advised the motorists to pay particular attention to the traffic control and road closure arrangements, and to avoid driving to the affected/congested areas, in particular Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Wan Chai, the Peak and Causeway Bay. They should exercise tolerance and patience in case of traffic congestion, follow instructions of the Police and watch out for the latest traffic news through the media.
Depending on the prevailing circumstances, other ad-hoc traffic control measures and public transport arrangements, including further closures of roads and footbridges, traffic diversions, alterations and suspension of public transport services, may be adopted by the Police with short notice. The TD would like to appeal to the public for their understanding and support for all the arrangements made as well as cooperation with the frontline police officers on site.
Members of the public are advised to watch out for announcements by the TD and the Police, and the latest traffic and transport news through radio and television broadcast. They can call the Department’s Hotline 1834567 or 1823 Call Centre for details of the special traffic and transport arrangements.
Special arrangements for the facilities of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will also be implemented to facilitate the Opening Ceremony on December 5 (Saturday). Details of the special opening hours are as follows:
The auditoria building, foyer, administration building, Marriage Registry, restaurants and cafes, gift shop and URBTIX box office of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (HKCC) will be temporarily closed from 12am to 11pm on December 5. Members of the public wishing to use URBTIX may use the nearby URBTIX outlet at theTom Lee Cameron Lane Branch; the URBTIX Internet ticketing at http://www.urbtix.hk; the credit card telephone booking service at 2111 5999 or the telephone reservation service at 2734 9009 during the temporary closure.
Moreover, the piazza and viewing deck of the HKCC will be closed by phases from now till December 5. Signs will be put up at the venues to advise members of the public.
The Hong Kong Museum of Art and its bookshop and cafe as well as the Hong Kong Space Museum and its box office will be temporarily closed on December 5.
Ends/Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A press conference to announce the traffic arrangements and crowd management during the East Asian Games (EAG) opening ceremony and the Games period was held today (December 1). The press conference was attended by the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau (third left); the Chief Executive Officer of 2009 East Asian Games (Hong Kong) Limited, Mr Johnny Woo (third right); Assistant Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Miss Olivia Chan (second left); the Chief Superintendent of the Police Public Relations Branch, Mr David Ng (second right); the Principal Transport Officer (Urban) of the Transport Department, Mr Albert Su (right); and the Marine Officer (Harbour Patrol Section) of the Marine Department, Mr Cheng Lung-tak (left).