We refer to the letters by Mr Tan Lai Soon ("Longer routes, higher ERP charges"; Jan 23), Mr Raymond Wee ("Surge in ERP charges after opening of expressway"; Forum Online, Jan 23) and Mr Ong Whee Kiat ("Scrap ERP charges for detours into CBD"; Forum Online, Jan 30) on additional Electronic Road Pricing charges when using the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE).
The MCE is intended to replace the East Coast Parkway's (ECP) east-west connection to the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). Hence, with the MCE's opening, the ECP will connect directly to the Central Business District (CBD) via a new arterial road, Sheares Avenue. The MCE will connect traffic heading towards the AYE, as well as provide connectivity to and from Marina Bay via Marina Boulevard and Central Boulevard, and the existing CBD via Maxwell Road.
The ERP cordon for the CBD has also been adjusted to ensure that developments within the downtown at Marina Bay are kept within the CBD.
Mr Tan had suggested moving the existing Sheares Avenue ERP gantry to Central Boulevard.
The position of the ERP gantry at Sheares Avenue was chosen to take into account new road connections that will lead traffic into the CBD cordon. Some of these new road connections will be in place from this year. Without the Sheares Avenue gantry, motorists will be able to bypass the CBD cordon when these new road connections are ready.
With these changes, motorists travelling westwards from the Ophir Road Interchange will enter the CBD first, before they can join the MCE to connect to the AYE. Similarly, motorists travelling eastwards from the AYE will need to enter the CBD first, if they exit the MCE via Central Boulevard and Sheares Avenue to connect to Rochor Road.
Depending on their eventual destinations, there are various alternative routes around the CBD that motorists can use if they do not want to enter the CBD and incur unnecessary ERP charges.
For example, to travel from Rochor to the AYE, motorists can make use of Bukit Timah Road, Farrer Road and Portsdown Road to join the AYE. They can also use Cavenagh Road, Buyong Road and Clemenceau Avenue to join the CTE and then the AYE in the morning, when the Orchard ERP cordon is not in operation.
When travelling from the ECP to Rochor Road, motorists do not need to enter the MCE, as the existing ECP will continue to allow motorists to use the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and exit at Rochor Road.
With better traffic distribution after the MCE opened, we were able to lower ERP rates for the MCE and ECP for some time slots during the morning and evening peak hours, while maintaining the ERP rates for the CBD cordons.
We thank motorists for their patience and understanding as all of us get used to the new road network.
Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations
Land Transport Authority
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