S’pore abandons circular road 

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Real estate that was being safeguarded for the Singapore Underground Road System has been released as there is no more need for an orbital thoroughfare in the “car-lite society”, according to the Land Transport Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Enhancements to Singapore’s public transport network and changes in land use policies have removed the need for the 30km underground road around the outside of the city-state that was first suggested in the 1980s. The land along the route was safeguarded in 1993.

The agencies said the Lion City was already well-served by public transport.

The orbital road was originally seen as a way for Singapore to move traffic underground so as to preserve more surface space in one of the world’s most densely crowded states.

Brussels, Stockholm, Madrid and Paris have factored in similar roads in their city plans.

The Downtown Line, due to be fully operational by October 21, would “further improve public transport connectivity”, especially for the northwest and east of the tiny republic.

The Thomson-East Coast Line, due to be completed in 2024, would “connect commuters from the northern and eastern parts of Singapore to the central areas, while Circle Line Stage 6 will close the Circle Line loop by around 2025”, the agencies announced.

The release of the safeguarded land would also offer developers greater flexibility when submitting project proposals, the statement said.

By 2030, Singapore is hoping to have 360km of train lines with 90 per cent of central business developments within a five-minute walk to an MRT station.

An electric scooter-sharing app has been launched to cater for those short journeys in the humid city centre.

A QR code on the scooter is scanned and then users can ride away.

“Oftentimes there are no direct services and walking is too hot,” said Kelvin Immanuel Ng from PopScoot, which is one of three companies offering scooter-sharing services.

Similar bike-sharing services have already become popular in Singapore over the last 12 months, which the scooter firms say will help prepare the market for the new service.

Bicycles do not need to be recharged so can be left anywhere, meaning residents often find them next to their apartment blocks.

Electric scooters need to be taken to a recharging dock, with these currently in short supply.

 

Singapore says its public transport network can cope without another road. Picture credit: MaxPixelmrt