Section of WCE toll-free until May

New way: An aerial view of Section 11 of the WCE, covering the route between the Taiping Selatan and Beruas elevated interchanges.

BUKIT GANTANG: Motorists using the West Coast Expressway (WCE) between the Taiping Selatan and Beruas elevated interchanges will enjoy no toll when they pass through the Section 11 toll plaza until May 11.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the two-month toll-free rides would be enjoyed by motorists entering the expressway from the Taiping Selatan, Trong and Beruas toll plazas from both directions.

“Thanks to the concession company and the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) for approving the two-month toll-free rides for motorists using the route, which I was made to understand is costing about RM422mil.

“The opening of this section of the expressway is timely as we welcome the holy month of Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri soon.

“This is indeed a long-awaited alternative route.

“After this, the toll rate will be 16 sen per kilometre,” he told reporters after opening Section 11 of the WCE here yesterday, Bernama reported.

Nanta said the government, through the ministry, Public Works Department and LLM, constantly studies traffic flow based on existing capacity, compared to the number of vehicles on the road, followed by planning and improvement actions to reduce congestion, especially during peak hours, festive seasons and school holidays.

According to Nanta, the WCE is also expected to become an alternative route for motorists heading north from the Klang Valley and west coast states.

He also suggested establishing a logistics network for heavy vehicles to make the route a preferred choice, especially for those heading to the Lumut, Teluk Intan and Klang ports.

This, Nanta said, would allow them to avoid hilly terrains on alternative routes and optimise operational costs, while helping to reduce traffic congestion.

The minister, reported Bernama, said discussions were also being held with farmers to ensure their farm animals, such as cows, will not wander onto the expressway and endanger road users.

The WCE is the latest alternative route connecting Banting, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor and Tanjung Karang in Selangor to Hutan Melintang, Teluk Intan, Seri Manjung, Beruas and Taiping in Perak.

The opening of Section 11 of the WCE, covering a stretch of 35.5km, is expected to reduce travel time from Changkat Jering to Beruas to only 20 minutes from 55 minutes via the existing route.

On a separate project, Nanta said the development of the 60km-long West Ipoh Span Expressway (WISE) linking Gopeng and Kuala Kangsar is still in the planning stage.

“We will ensure that the project commences in the middle of this year. We have requested it to be expedited, especially for the signing of agreements and so on,” he said.

Prior to this, the Perak government confirmed that the Cabinet had approved the WISE project on Dec 13 last year.

WISE is a solution to traffic issues on the North-South Expressway, providing an alternative route for highway users, especially when accidents occur at the Menora Tunnel.

Earlier in his speech, Nanta said his ministry has received 12,245 complaints involving various road issues through the MYJalan app so far.

He also reminded all concession companies responsible for maintaining roads and highways to perform their duties diligently as their performance is continuously monitored under the key performance index system.

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