The Audit Commission said transport authorities have not done a good job in the planning, provision and management of public parking spaces, whose growth has failed to catch up with the rapid increase in the number of vehicles.
In a report released on Wednesday, the commission said the number of licensed vehicles, consisting of private cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles, grew 44.4 percent from December 2006 to December 2018, with that of private cars increasing by as much as 53.4 percent, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
By comparison, parking spaces only saw an increase of 12 percent during the period.
There were 784,000 licensed vehicles in Hong Kong at the end of 2018, but the number of parking spaces stood only at 757,000, according to official data.
The commission said a substantial increase in the number of private cars has resulted in the parking space ratio decreasing to 1.1 in 2018, and this is projected to further shrink to less than 1 in the coming years.
Saying that this should be a cause for concern, the commission urged the Transport Department, which manages the city’s public parking spaces and handles parking-related matters for licensed vehicles, to closely monitor the parking space ratio for private cars.
Aside from the imbalance between demand and supply of parking spaces, the commission found that there were 13 abandoned vehicles in five government multi-storey car parks, with 10 of them having been abandoned for more than one year as of Dec. 31 last year.
Among them is a motorcycle that has been abandoned for 11 years. It was only removed in January this year.
The audit report blamed inadequacies in the Transport Department’s follow-up actions on the removal of abandoned vehicles for the prolonged occupation of parking spaces in the car parks.
Moreover, the commission said the government has failed to meet its target of having 15 percent of metered parking spaces available at any one time in 15 of 37 districts.
It was recommended in the report that current fee of HK$2 for half an hour of metered parking should be raised and meters in core commercial areas, such as Causeway Bay, should allow less than two hours of parking for each transaction.
Responding to the report, the government said it “generally agreed” with the recommendations of the auditor, RTHK reported.
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