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Campaigners Get On Their Bikes For Cycle-Path Protest

Annemarie Evans – SCMP – Updated on Apr 07, 2008

A hundred cyclists campaigned yesterday for a cycle path along Victoria Harbour by cycling along the waterfront – or rather, the limited parts of it they could get to.

Led by Ho Loy, the heritage activist and failed Legislative Council by-election candidate, marshals from the Hong Kong Cycling Alliance and Hong Kong Cycling Information net and a contingent from the Civic Party, they made their way from Cadogan Street in Kennedy Town over to Sheung Wan.

Some also planned to cycle back to Planning Department offices in North Point, to post a letter outlining the need for a harbour cycling path.

Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, who saw the cyclists off at the start, said that unlike the New Territories there were no facilities for cyclists on Hong Kong Island.

“Why should a cycle path be seen as a luxury item? Why does everything have to be about the dollar sign?” she said.

Ms Ho said the Eastern District Council had asked the Planning Department for a boardwalk under the Island Eastern Corridor, which could easily double alongside a cycle path.

Organisers were unhappy with the way police split the group into batches of 10 cyclists on the road. “They forced us to start up separately,” said alliance member Martin Turner. “If we’re all in one group, it’s much safer. It would also have been less trouble for the police.”

A police community relations officer said the riders needed to split up in order not to block traffic.

Frenchman Richard Ferge, 36, and his English wife, Stani, are staying in Hong Kong for two weeks having taken several years off work to cycle around the world.

“It’s quite challenging to cycle here,” Mr Ferge said. “It’s not an environment with cyclists in mind. Particularly in Europe, people in cities are returning to the bicycle. But here and in Shanghai they have moved from the bicycle to the car.”

Legislator Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, who cycled with several other members of the Civic Party, said: “I think a bike path along Hong Kong Island is something people long for, so we’re in support of that.”

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