Tuesday, August 19, 2008

LTA To Look Into Impact Of ERP Gantries On Chinatown

Source : The Business Times, August 19, 2008

THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) will bring forward its ERP review of the Singapore River Line gantries from November to October, after feedback from the Chinatown Business Association that ERP charges may be having a negative impact on business.

As the ERP was implemented in July, this still gives LTA three months for its customary review and provides sufficient time for vehicle travel patterns to stabilise.

Senior Minister of State for Transport and Finance Lim Hwee Hua said: 'If the traffic situation warrants it, LTA would adjust the ERP charges to be effective from early October instead.' Review results will be announced in late September.

The gantries were introduced to ensure that businesses in the area benefit from smooth-flowing traffic in the long run.

At a meeting yesterday, Chinatown retail and business stakeholders gave LTA feedback on business operating hours, as well as where gantries could be located to control traffic.

Mrs Lim said LTA aims to ensure that ERP rates are pegged at levels that do not discourage users from entering the area simply due to congestion.

'Some of the businesses have been experiencing some slowdown either because of consumer changes or economic conditions. Changes to the ERP rates will not be able to address (this),' she said. 'There are also some issues with regard to public education. A lot of people thought that the ERP hours were operational on Saturdays as well, which is not the case.'

Adjustments to ERP charges in the area will be determined by speeds over different time segments, as well as traffic volume. In addition, LTA will study car park occupancy rates and retail sales figures to 'refine the scheme'.

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