Vehicle-free zone at Bandar Hilir a boon for Melaka theme park

THE Melaka government’s vehicle-free zone at Bandar Hilir has been a boon for one theme park in suburban Ayer Keroh.

Melaka Wonderland chief executive Seow Cheng Swee said there's been an increase in visitors during the weekends since the decision on the three-day closure of streets was reached on Dec 23.

“There's been a 60% increase in visitor arrivals since the car-free zone was implemented," he said in an interview here on Wednesday (Jan 3).

Seow said the increase in visitors has also helped his theme park to apply for two categories in the Malaysia Book of Records as the first designed and largest lighting event organised at a theme park.

“We will not be able to set new records without the overwhelming response to our lighting event and the decision by the state government," he said.

The trial run on the weekend road closures starting Dec 22 involved Jalan Istana, Jalan Mahkamah, Jalan Gereja, Lorong Gereja, Jalan Laksamana along with parts of Jalan Tun Khalil Yaakob and Jalan Merdeka.

Previously the car-free zone, implemented in August, was only on Saturdays lasting for a six-hour stretch from 6pm to midnight before it was extended to 52 hours.

In a press statement on Dec 27, Ayer Keroh assemblyman Kerk Chee Yee disagreed with the continuation of the car-free zone move as well as the change of road directions in surrounding areas of Bandar Hilir.

He said the closure of the streets has also caused businesses around the area to experience a steep drop while causing severe road congestion and impeding emergency routes to hospitals as well as confusing tourists driving in the area.

“The initiative is a failure and adversely affects the locals,'he added.

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