Vehicular Ferry Pier / United Pier, Central [1933-1994]

Submitted by David on Fri, 12/05/2008 - 09:58
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
Date closed / demolished

This pier was roughly where One IFC stands today. The pier was operated by HYF (The Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company Limited).

It was originally built for the new vehicular ferry service between Hong Kong island and Kowloon, but several passenger ferry routes also used berths at this pier.

During the construction of the pier the PWD's Annual Report for 1932 called it the Jubilee Street Ferry Pier, but that name wasn't widely used afterwards. Once the pier was finished, Government maps showed it labelled as Vehicular Ferry Pier / 汽車渡輪碼頭. Some Chinese-language maps labelled it 統一碼頭 which gave rise to another English name, United Pier.

Martin Booth makes a couple of references to travelling on the Yau Ma Tei vehicular ferry in his book, Gweilo / Golden Boy.

Here's a photo we've been sent of the pier, with the QEII decorations dating it to 1953:

1953 Vehicular Ferry Pier, Central

Photos that show this Place


Hi there,

There is a Wiki entry in Chinese saying the Central Pier started operation on 1st March 1933.  The group of piers ceased service in 1994 and was demolished soon after, giving way to the reclaimation.

Best Regards,


Considerations to establish a vehicular ferry service between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon started in 1926. A bridge was considered impracticable, a tunnel too expensive. A ferry service was proposed instead. On the Kowloon side, Jordan Road was a favorite from the beginning. On the island, first choice was the northern end of Murray Road near the Victoria Recreation Club. This of course was rejected by the Club, and Arsenal Street was proposed instead. This was thought to be too much to the east and impracticable as it would cross the Star Ferry service.

Finally, the site at the end of Jubilee and Queen Victoria Streets was chosen. The advantage would be the incorporation ot the already existing passenger ferry service into the vehicular one. Although reclamation and erection costs were higher compared to the Murray Road site, the new site was chosen. The proposed layout is given in this map:

Vehicular Ferry Pier Central:  Plan 1928
Vehicular Ferry Pier Plan Central 1928, by Klaus

Source: SP 1928;  Report on the Vehicular Ferry, Hong Kong - Kowloon

Originally in 1933, the pier was designed to serve one vehicular ferry at a time. Due to the increasing demand for vehicle transport, a second berth was built east of the old one (early 1950s). 

The Annual Report for 1963 refers:

West of the present vehicle ferry pier, a temporary vehicle ferry berth was constructed, so that there are now three berths in action in the vicinity.

 Unfortunately, there is no photo on Gwulo showing all three, but here is one showing the first berth and an additional one to the east (the third one is behind the pillbox):

1970 Central Vehicular Ferry Pier, by petespix75

and here's the first and the addional western berth:

Pillbox 063, Old Vehicular Ferry Pier
Pillbox 063, Old Vehicular Ferry Pier, by Admin

Interesting film from 1970 showing cars embarking and disembarking at the Vehicular Ferry Piers, Central. At 5:45 min, a ricksha ride through Central starts. Seen on You Tube here.


255. This work was referred to in paragraph 218 of last year's Report. The piers, offices and concourse areas on both sides of the harbour were completed and an experimental vehicular service commenced on 9th February. The full service was commenced on 12th June.