Updated: 01/16/2014 02:05

Improved Traffic Condition on MCE not due to motorists avoiding the area: LTA

File Photo: Marina Coastal Expressway

File Photo: Marina Coastal Expressway

The Land Transport Authority says traffic condition on the Marina Coastal Expressway and nearby roads has been smooth since the snarl on December the 30th last year, the first work day after it opened. 

And it stressed that it's NOT due to motorists still avoiding the area. 

LTA has also reiterated that the expressway does not suffer from a design fault. 

LTA has been studying traffic conditions in the area since the MCE opened on the 29th of December. 

And it has found that traffic volume on the new expressway is now at a similar level to the volume on East Coast Parkway or ECP prior to the MCE's opening. 

It averages about 8,500 vehicles per hour. 

LTA's Deputy Chief Executive is Chua Chong Kheng. 

"That's one point which shows that motorists are not avoiding this stretch of the MCE as was put to us. Secondly, the volume also showed that it's actually below our design capacity, this has helped to validate our planning assumption, it also assures that we have adequate capacities catered for future demands." 

The MCE is designed to accomodate up to 10,000 vehicles per hour. 

Mr Chua has also addressed concerns from some motorists who claimed that they are going through more ERP gantries compared to before. 

"For example, if you're heading from ECP, towards AYE, you'll have one gantry that's before fort rd. This gantry now is spread into three physical gantries just to cater to the streams of traffic that's distributed three ways. So motorists are not charged, and do not pass through more than one gantry, if they had been passing through only one gantry in the past." 

Mr Chua has also rebutted claims that design faults in the MCE could have contributed to the congestion encountered on the 30th of last month. 

He reiterates that motorists' unfamiliarity with the road network was the main cause of that jam. 

He adds that LTA's efforts such as the conversion of a short stretch of the Central Boulevard to four lanes from two, adding and enhancing of road signages and stepping up publicity, have contributed to the improved traffic conditions since then. 

However, he says LTA will draw on the lessons learnt from the traffic snarl. 

It will be more mindful that even as motorists get advanced information of the changes, they might still be uncertain when driving on new roads. 

"We'll increase or intensify our publicity. We'll increase signages, we want to overdo, timing will be well in advance. We'll continue to do that we will see whether we can do more." 

-By Lee Gim Siong

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