World

Johor lays out plans to ease traffic at customs complex

JOHOR BARU Creating more lanes and opening up those allocated for heavy vehicles to cars - these are Johor's plans to ease traffic at the congested Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex.

The state wants to introduce flexible traffic flow in the area since it is Malaysia's busiest entry and exit point.

Johor Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Hasni Mohammad said this must be addressed with good planning.

Among the suggestions, he said, was creating more lanes for vehicles to enter the complex to ease traffic congestion in the city area, especially during peak hours on weekends.

Now, the Immigration Department has 77 counters for cars (39 for entry and 38 for exit), 100 counters for motorcycles (50 entry and 50 exit), 11 lorry counters (six for entry and five for exit).

The state, Mr Hasni said, also wants to open up the heavier vehicle lanes to smaller vehicles on weekends.

"The federal government's decision to reduce levy rates from RM200 (S$67) to RM50 at the Second Link near Gelang Patah for commercial and heavy vehicles means there will more such vehicles at the Second Link.

"This also means there will be a massive reduction for such mode of transport at the CIQ," he told reporters.

Mr Hasni said the state would further discuss the matter before forwarding its views to several ministries.

"About 65 per cent of tourist arrivals in the country go through the CIQ Complex," he said.

"There must be a smoother traffic flow between Malaysia and Singapore. JKR (Public Works Department) together with the Highway Planning Unit and the Malaysian Highway Authority are looking at the traffic flow at the CIQ."

BIG CHALLENGE

Mr Hasni noted that there are 22 agencies involved at the CIQ alone and there is only one agency - the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore - involved at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

"That is a big challenge for us and I hope that with the understanding between Malaysia and Singapore, it will inspire greater cooperation among the 22 agencies to help us come up with faster travel time between both sides," he said. - THE STAR

WORLD