JOHOR BARU: The state government has thought up of ways to further ease traffic congestion at the Causeway and Second Link.
Johor Public Works, Regional and Rural Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohamed said these included increasing the number of toll booths at the Second Link and building a covered walkway for pedestrians at the Causeway.
Better traffic management at both checkpoints include separating bigger and larger trailers from smaller lorries for faster clearance and increasing the number of security personnel during peak hours.
Hasni also suggested that Touch ‘n Go reload booths should be removed at the checkpoints as it caused congestion when motorists left their cars at the checkpoint to reload.
“We should impose a surcharge similar to Singapore’s charge of S$10 (RM30) for cards with insufficient balance when entering Johor.
“I do not think that just reducing the levy for heavy vehicles to RM50 at the Second Link will help ease the traffic congestion at the causeway.
“We need to upgrade the infrastructure as well,’’ he added.
Hasni said there was also a need to look at increasing the toll booths at the Second Link from 24 to match with Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex which has up to 39 booths.
He said some of the booths for heavy vehicles might also need to be redesigned due to the larger size of heavy vehicles now.
“We hope with the meetings already underway, something can be done within the next three to six months,” added Hasni, who is a member of a special task force headed by the Deputy Prime Minister to ease congestion at both checkpoints.
Asked if a new checkpoint will be built for pedestrians, Hasni said there was no plan to do so for now.
On another issue, he said the state government was in the midst of looking at ways to upgrade at least 15 accident prone “hotspots” state-wide.
Hasni said the stretch between Ayer Hitam and Batu Pahat was known to be the worst in the state.
“In 2017, we had a total of 165 traffic deaths while in 2016, a total of 206 people died along that stretch," he said.
He said efforts were underway to upgrade accident-prone areas including improving the lighting, installing signs, and upgrading the junctions.
Hasni also hoped the Federal Government would look into widening the highway from Johor Baru all the way up to Ayer Keroh in Malacca from the present four lanes to six.
“The number of vehicles have increased significantly and the jams are not just during the festive season," he said, adding that the proposal to widen the roads had been submitted in 2014.