We may have confused some readers in explaining yesterday how the HK Transport Dept handles permits for driving on the HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB). It is a fiendishly complicated topic. So, to further clarify:
There are two ways to drive on the HZMB: 1) With a single, HK-issued, license plate under the Park-and-Ride scheme; and 2) With a dual-plate issued by the governments of Guangdong and HK, under the Cross-Boundary Private Car License scheme.
Yesterday’s story was about the second scheme. Cars with dual plates that have been going from Hong Kong into Guangdong via Shenzhen Bay, Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To, and Shau Tau Kok can now go in via the HZMB. But there is a quota for this, and so they need to apply for their existing Closed Road Permit to include the HZMB. This quota has been raised by 4,500, effective April 15, so it is highly likely that everyone who could be bothered to apply for the HZMB will be approved. (Most drivers would likely still prefer to go via Shenzhen because it’s quicker that way to reach the eastern side of the Bay.)
Approvals under this scheme, for those who had been driving via Shenzhen Bay, will start being handed out on April 29. Users of the other three crossing points have been using the bridge since February 25.
The first scheme, Park and Ride, is completely different. It involves signing up via the HKTD website, as explained yesterday, but only allows Hong Kong cars with single plates to go across as far as the Immigration Island on the Macau/Zhuhai side. There, they can park in the 3,000-place car park. Yes, they can only do that if they have already reserved a place in that car park. They must get out at that point, pass through immigration controls, and take public transport into Macau and/or Zhuhai. We are going through the 24-page explainer document provided by the HKTD and will update further soon. Suffice to say at the moment that it requires Herculean strength of will and Stoic patience to get through this.