New 8.8km cycling network for Punggol residents

Young and old enjoying the new cycling paths yesterday. As Singapore's first eco-town, Punggol is also developing its waterfront spaces and amenities.
Young and old enjoying the new cycling paths yesterday. As Singapore's first eco-town, Punggol is also developing its waterfront spaces and amenities.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Dedicated off-road paths allow bikers to travel seamlessly to work and play

Getting around Punggol got a bit easier yesterday with the opening of an 8.8km cycling network.

It will give residents a seamless cycling route from their homes to train stations, schools and other amenities, and also link the area with Sengkang via the Punggol Park Connector Network.

Construction work on the off- road cycling paths started last year.

During the unveiling ceremony at Punggol 21 Community Club, Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng, who is also Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP, said there are now over 300 parking spots at Punggol MRT station, 40 per cent more than in 2013.The Land Transport Authority is looking into providing bicycle racks at LRT stations as well.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was guest of honour, and Pasir Ris-Punggol MPs Janil Puthucheary and Sun Xueling were also present at the ceremony.

The new dedicated cycling network stretches from Punggol East to Punggol Way, near the Punggol Waterway Park.

INCREASING CONNECTIVITY

With these improvements to cycling connectivity, Punggol residents will find it easier to get around without using more cars, and this will be critical in making our vision of a car-light Singapore a reality.

MR NG CHEE MENG, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP, on how providing such infrastructure will help Singaporeans embrace a more eco-friendly future

The upcoming Round Island Route, a 150km continuous green trail that links to Pasir Ris, Changi Bay and Gardens by the Bay East, will also pass through Punggol. Work on the project will start at the end of the year, but a completion date has yet to be announced.

"With these improvements to cycling connectivity, Punggol residents will find it easier to get around without using more cars, and this will be critical in making our vision of a car-light Singapore a reality," said Mr Ng.

He also called for education efforts regarding electric bicycles to be stepped up following the deaths last week of two young riders who were hit by a passing truck.

Despite stricter regulations, some still flout the rules by illegally modifying e-bikes to reach high speeds. Currently, e-bikes are not allowed on the Punggol cycling network.

Grassroots leaders in Punggol are working with partners to form a Punggol Active Mobility Patrol team, which will educate residents about how to cycle and use personal mobility devices safely and considerately.

Jurong Lake will get a bicycle network of its own next year, while cycling path networks were completed in Yishun last year and Changi-Simei this year.

Sales manager Sheena Goh, 35, is looking forward to using the cycling paths during family bike rides with her daughters, aged four and seven.

"It's easier to ride on a dedicated path, and I don't have to worry as much about their safety."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'New 8.8km cycling network for Punggol residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe