TD responds to Ombudsman's report

The Transport Department today said it appreciated the Ombudsman’s work in the direct investigation into the measures and usage of on-street parking spaces designated for disabled people, and agrees with the Ombudsman’s recommendations.   The Ombudsman today released a report on its direct investigation into the measures and usage concerned.   The department said it extended the eligibility for using designated on-street parking spaces to holders of a Parking Certificate for Drivers Who Carry People with Mobility Disabilities from January 2021.   It made the decision after taking into consideration that people with physical paralysis or lower limb mobility disabilities need to use wheelchairs and be accompanied by carers for transporting, and that there is also a practical need to use the on-street parking spaces designated for the disabled with a larger space.   The new measure aims to promote the social integration of disabled people as well as support and ease the burden of carers. The department appreciates the Ombudsman’s concurrence that the new measure’s objectives are in line with the current policy direction.   In response to stakeholders’ views after the measure’s implementation, the department immediately made improvements, including tightening the application and approval requirements for the Parking Certificate, and strengthening the monitoring of on-street parking spaces usage.   Moreover, it has been actively increasing the designated on-street parking spaces at suitable locations. As at the end of March this year, the designated spaces have been increased from 449 to 531, while another 36 spaces are under construction or ready to be built.   The department will continue to review the demand and supply of such parking spaces, and conduct regular surveys on their utilisation rate with a view to fully assessing the supply and demand of designated on-street parking spaces.   On the Ombudsman’s recommendations, the department said it will further comprehensively review the application eligibility and approval criteria of the Parking Certificate.   It will also enhance the measures to deter improper use of the certificates in various ways and draw up reasonable requirements for the types of vehicle used by Parking Certificate holders. The department expects to consult the relevant parties on the proposed measures in the second half of this year.   Additionally, it will study the use of new technologies to install a smart monitoring system at designated on-street parking spaces to strengthen monitoring of their usage.

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