This will increase the cycling network to 1,300 km by 2030 and provide more space for e-scooter riders, after the footpath ban.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min revealed that the government will need more than $1 billion to hasten the expansion of the cycling network, reported The New Paper.
This initiative comes after the recent banning of e-scooters from footpaths on 5 November 2019.
Lam also disclosed in Parliament that the Transport Ministry (MOT) is currently coordinating with the Finance Ministry to acquire extra funding, while also being in talks with the Housing Board, town councils and National Parks Board regarding a practical timeline.
Although he has previously said that the cycling network will be expanded by 750 km by 2025 and around 1,300 km by 2030, Lam told reporters last month that this could be shortened by a few years to give e-scooter users more space.
E-scooters, which were previously allowed on the 5,500 km footpaths, are currently restricted to the 440-km cycling paths and are also banned on roads.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan stated that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will give priority to towns having high e-scooter populations and without current intra-town cycling networks when constructing the new cycling paths.
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Lam emphasised to MPs that the ban was to restore safety within the footpaths. Following the banning, the number of accidents with e-scooters on public paths dropped by 30% in December 2019, compared to November 2019.
Ever since a zero-tolerance approach was used at the start of the year, the LTA has caught 27 e-scooter riders on footpaths.
“As we step up enforcement, we can expect further reduction in such accidents,” Lam said.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said a big part of the park connector network (PCN) will further be divided into shared paths and footpaths.
NParks will also harmonise and update the signs and markings of the PCN alongside LTA’s cycling path network.
“Where there is sufficient width in the PCN, NParks will also implement physical separators such as grass verges between the footpaths and shared paths,” said Wong.
In a move to further strengthen the regulations, Lam introduced two Bills at yesterday’s Parliament sitting.
The Active Mobility (Amendment) Bill will move to ban all motorised PMDs from footpaths and raise penalties for all active mobility offences. It will also allow the government to implement the current Active Mobility Advisory Panel recommendations such as third-party liability insurance coverage for those who ride for work and minimum ages for riding.
This Bill will additionally put in place the mandatory inspection regime that takes effect in April, to guarantee e-scooters’ compliance with the UL2272 fire safety standard and to prevent installation of illegal modifications.
On the other hand, the Shared Mobility Enterprises (Control and Licensing) Bill seeks the expansion of the scope of the current licensing regime covering active mobility device-sharing operators, which include PMD-sharing and bicycle-sharing firms.
If the Bill passes, it will replace the current licensing regime put in place by the Parking Places Act.
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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org