"It's still not a done deal whether the North-South Expressway will be built.
The decider? Just how effective the new evening Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges on the Central Expressway (CTE) will be in reducing congestion. The charges kick in next month and will affect motorists heading north on the CTE between 6pm and 8pm.
Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong said on TV news yesterday that if the evening ERP charges ease congestion on the CTE, there won't be a need for the proposed highway, which was intended to run almost parallel to the CTE to deal with the daily congestion.
|'Maybe it will be built in the next 10 years, maybe not,' Mr Yeo said.|
The Government will not rush into the project as it is not only expensive but also complicated, as it would mean having to cut through several nature reserves.
'The Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) cost us quite a few billion dollars. I think the North-South Expressway has to run through all these sensitive areas and will cost us even more.'
A priority for the Transport Ministry right now is to complete the KPE, as it will help alleviate the CTE's congestion. And with an eye to the future, Mr Yeo said Singapore's public transport system would be as extensive as those in London and Paris once the MRT Circle Line opens. It is expected to be running by 2010.
There will also be two new MRT lines linking Marine Parade with Bukit Timah. Once complete, the network will enable people to take an MRT train from the city centre to any corner of the island."
Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.