A much longer walk from Paya Lebar MRT station
What used to be a 10-minute walk to the Paya Lebar MRT station now takes double the time for some.
The reason: A footpath that linked Paya Lebar MRT station to the bus stop at Sims Avenue has been sealed off since Nov 20 to make way for the construction of the new Paya Lebar Central.
Pedestrians walking to Sims Avenue, Tanjong Katong Road or Paya Lebar Road from the MRT station must now go around the construction site, which is about the size of a football field.
Signs and maps have been put up to guide pedestrians to the alternative footpaths.
Mr Ye Moxing, 62, who lives at Haig Road, wrote in to The New Paper about the matter.
“After the ‘shortcut’ was closed, I tried to walk to Paya Lebar MRT station a couple of times, but it’s too far for me.
“The distance from my house to the MRT station has tripled so I have to take the bus instead and it takes 20 minutes longer just to get there,” he said.
“If it’s two or three months, residents could probably put up with it, but if it takes years, it will be a problem for old people like me,” said the retiree.
Another user of the old footpath is sales manager Goh Chuan Han.
He used to travel to One KM mall once a week to get his usual fix of wonton noodles from the foodcourt.
“Now, I go there to eat only once every two weeks because the mall is quite a long walk from the MRT station,” said the 26-year-old, after realising that it takes him double the time to walk to the mall.
He would also avoid eating around the area when it rains.
“It’s hard to find a covered walkway that links me to One KM mall so I just try to avoid the area altogether,” Mr Goh said.
Madam Nurhayati Samsudin, 34, also faces difficulties travelling to Geylang Serai market, where she buys her groceries.
The mother of five said the biggest challenge is when she has to take her toddlers, aged three and one, with her if no one is home to take care of them.
“It’s hard when I have my kids with me because they get tired from the walk very easily, especially with the weather these days,” said the housewife.
She used to be able to go to the market in 10 minutes, but it now takes her longer than 20 minutes.
“I hope the authorities can create a walkway like the old one. I think it will make our lives so much easier,” she said.
The site for the new development is managed by Lend Lease, whose past projects include Parkway Parade, Jem and 313@Somerset.
Managing director of Paya Lebar Central and spokesman for Lend Lease, Mr Richard Paine, said the footpath had to be closed to facilitate the construction works as safety is their top priority.
“We understand there will be some interim inconvenience to individuals and we are focused on completing the works quickly and as safely as possible to return the precinct back to the community,” he said.
Mr Paine also said that they worked with the community, key stakeholders and relevant authorities to provide advanced notice to the residents via leaflets and on-site notices.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA), which was alerted to the situation, said that since work started in November, it has been working closely with the developer to put in alternative routes.
A spokesman said: “Due to the construction, it is unsafe for pedestrians to cut through the site to walk to Sims Avenue.
“Upon completion of the development by 2019, a pedestrian linkway will be provided within the development site to allow commuters direct access to and from the MRT station to Sims Avenue.”
If it’s two or three months, residents could probably put up with it, but if it takes years, it will be a problem for old people like me.
— Mr Ye Moxing, 62, who wrote in to The New Paper about the matter