Expect longer travelling time across the Causeway over CNY weekend

Long lines of vehicles on the Causeway.
Long lines of vehicles on the Causeway. PHOTO: ST FILE

While the north-east monsoon may have caused floods in Johor, it has not deterred Singapore travellers from going up to Malaysia during the Chinese New Year period.

Local transport companies and travel agencies said the buses hit the highways, which are not affected by the recent floods.

Eight districts in the state of Johor have been hit by floods, which have also affected other states including Pahang and Kelantan.

A spokesman for Konsortium Express and Tours said their coaches have managed to minimise unnecessary delays by avoiding areas in Johor that were affected by the floods.

Konsortium, which runs 10 to 13 coaches a day into Malaysia, said buses take the highways, bypassing Johor, en route to popular destinations such as Malacca and Kuala Lumpur.

  • How to avoid the congestion

  • To avoid congestion when travelling into Malaysia, leave early and consider the Tuas Second Link, said Mr Christopher Chia, director of Travel Delightfully.

    Mr Gerard Brian Pereira, a manager at the Singapore Safety Driving Centre, said for those driving their own vehicles, there are some tricks to getting through flood waters.

    When faced with flooded roads, engage a lower gear to go through the flood at a constant speed. Never stop in the middle of a flooded road.

    Mr Pereira said this is to prevent the water from entering the engine through the exhaust pipe and stalling the engine.

    After driving through the flood, pump the brake pedal repeatedly until normal braking action returns.

    However, Mr Tham Kok Choon, assistant manager of training at Bukit Batok Driving Centre, said the best precaution is to find another route that will allow motorists to avoid the flood.

    Raynold Toh

While flood waters may not slow down the buses, demand, wet weather and the long weekend will, said the transport companies.

Some transport companies have increased the number of coaches to meet the higher demand. This is likely to worsen congestion from Singapore to Malaysia, a spokesman for BSB Express Transport said.

BSB Express Transport has added two more coaches travelling from Singapore to Malaysia during the Chinese New Year period.

Mr Christopher Chia, director of Travel Delightfully, said the travelling time could even be 2½ hours longer than usual, especially if there is an accident along the route. It now takes about five hours to complete the journey from Singapore to KL.

According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department, afternoon thunderstorms are expected to continue in most states, although they are likely to subside in the next week.

To counter any unexpected delays, tour agencies and transport companies have prepared contingency measures.

BSB Express Transport said that back-up coaches are on standby, while Konsortium said that it would reroute its coaches in advance.

Most of them informed customers of the higher likelihood of delays during the Chinese New Year period prior to booking and urged customers to be understanding.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2017, with the headline 'Expect longer travelling time across the Causeway'. Print Edition | Subscribe