A private firm that has been providing bus services for many years for residents of Kingswood Villas, a large private housing estate in Tin Shui Wai in New Territories, may decide to call an end to the service if it is unable to settle a row with the Transport Department, according to reports.
There is speculation that Kwoon Chung Bus, which operates routes between Kingswood Villas and urban areas, including Sheung Shui, Tsuen Wan, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kwun Tong, will stop providing the services as it is unhappy with the way is being treated by government authorities.
If the bus operator decides to opt out, it could put tens of thousands of residents living in the private estate, which has as many as 58 residential blocks, to a lot of inconvenience.
Rumors are swirling that Kwoon Chung Bus may pull the plug on the service as it feels that it has been picked on too often by the Transport Department with complaints, Lee Yuet-man, a Yuen long District Council member who represents the Kingswood North constituency, said on Sunday.
According to Lee, the department demanded the company report the license plate of each bus that serves the routes, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
When Kwoon Chung, on some occasions, had no choice but to replace one bus with another temporarily due to maintenance or breakdown reasons and failed to file a report, the department had suspended the license plate of the bus as a form of punishment, Lee said.
According to him, three buses saw their plates getting suspended for six months so far.
The District Council member noted that Kwoon Chung had shortened some of the routes and cut the travel time for residents them since it took over the business from Citybus in 2006.
Now, there is a danger that, despite its positive contribution, Kwoon Chung may be forced out of the game if the department continues its heavy-handed tactics on the firm.
According to Lee, a Kwoon Chung manger informed him via telephone on Saturday that the firm’s chairman and executive director Matthew Wong Leung-pak has decided to stop serving the routes to and from Kingswood Villas from June 1.
The manager declined to comment when approached by HKEJ.
Lee said the Yuen long District Council is scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday to seek reconciliation between Kwoon Chung and the Transport Department.
Meanwhile, some Kingswood Villas residents are said to be preparing to submit a petition letter to the department.
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