3284 Trees Fell for Yuen Long-Sheung Shui Cycling Track – Improvement on Design and Route is needed to reduce Tree Felling

3284 trees will be felled for the Yuen Long-Sheung Shui cycling track
The environmental cost is unreasonably high
Green Sense urges improvement on both the route and the design of the track in order to reduce tree cutting

Paul Chan, the Secretary for Development, posted an online blog yesterday (21st). Referring to the accomplishments of the Hong Kong athlete Lee Wai Sze in the Olympics, he mentioned the recent policies done by the Government to encourage local athletic development, including the establishment of the cycling track network.

Green Sense agree that cycling is both a low-carbon transportation means and a public leisure activity. However, 3,284 trees will be felled in order to complete the remaining Yuen Long-Sheung Shui, part of the Tuen Mun-Sheung Shui cycling track. The felling includes banyans with crown over 20 meters. The environmental cost is unreasonably huge [1].

According to Roy Tam, the Chief Executive (Voluntary) of Green Sense, “It is contradicting for the Government to improve our quality of life by establishing cycling tracks while felling trees massively and destroy the natural environment.”

While the Government claims that they have already minimized tree removal, they are not acting thoroughly. We have once suggested it is possible to reduce tree felling by reasonably decreasing the width of the track, sharing path with pedestrians and improving routes design. However, the Government did not consider these suggestions seriously.

We once again urge the Government to reduce tree cutting for the Sheung Shui-Yuen Long cycling track. Establishing cycling track should not be turned into a tree massacre.

[1] – 20th May 2016 meeting, Finance Committee of the Legislative Council, http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr15-16/chinese/fc/pwsc/papers/p15-53c.pdf