Malaysiakini News

Penang's transport plan still only a plan, says Penang BN

Published:  |  Modified:

Penang BN has lashed out at the Penang government saying since Pakatan Harapan took over the state in 2008, its transport plan still remains only a plan 10 years later.

"Without a doubt, over-politicking and blaming (others) have caused transport and traffic problems to remain unsolved," said BN's Kebun Bunga coordinator Ooi Zhi Yi (above).

Ooi assured that if BN is given the opportunity, the coalition will cancel the proposed undersea tunnel project between Bagan Ajam and Gurney Drive.

"We do not see the necessity of an undersea tunnel to bring in even more traffic to the north-east district of Penang Island which is already suffering from bad traffic congestion," Ooi, who is from Gerakan, told a press conference in George Town today.

"As a matter of fact, the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Bridge is still underutilised and there is no need for another link to connect the island and the mainland," he added.

Ooi then listed five major traffic challenges Penangites were facing which were:

  • rapid growth in vehicle ownership;
  • high private vehicle dependency;
  • low levels of public transport usage;
  • increasing traffic congestion due to high-density development which is not in tandem with existing infrastructure facilities and the
  • lack of car parking space.

Caretaker Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng has criticised BN leaders of sabotaging the Penang undersea tunnel project which is now under a probe by the MACC.

Lim has insisted the project was above board and was awarded to Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd via an open tender.

He argued that the 7.2km tunnel would ease the state's traffic congestion problem well into the future when the present roads or bridges are no longer able to sustain the increasing traffic flow.

Ooi said Penang has attracted many travellers who drove their private vehicles into the island especially during festive seasons and holidays.

"This contributes to the increase of the number of vehicles on the road," he said.

"To address this problem, Penang BN proposes to increase the efficiency of the existing public transport system as well as park and ride facilities,” he added.

He said Penang BN's GE14 manifesto pledged to build effective multi-storey car-parks in critical areas to avoid time wasted looking for parking as well as congestion on the roads.

"Urban traffic congestion has not only caused increased delays and travel times, it has also created an economic loss as well as environmental degradation," Ooi said.

"Therefore, as stated in the manifesto, solving the traffic congestion issues within three years is a pledge by the Penang BN.”

Accompanying Ooi at the press conference were Gerakan coordinators Peggie Koo Pei Chee (Batu Lanchang), Andy Yong (Bukit Bendera), and Jason Loo Jieh Sheng (Pulau Tikus).

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