Unique problems causing congestion along Orchard Road

As a regular bus commuter on Orchard Road, I have noticed that buses have to weave in and out of their lane several times along the road, resulting in congestion and bottlenecks ("Full-day bus lane hours to be extended"; Wednesday).

There are two reasons for this behaviour.

First, they have to avoid cars waiting in the left-most lane to turn left into Bideford Road, the Central Expressway, Handy Road and Prinsep Street. Buses move to the next lane or even two lanes away to avoid the cars. This creates congestion as cars try to turn left and buses try to turn right.

Second, buses along Orchard Road stop at alternate stops. So, to avoid waiting, they change lanes to overtake buses that stop.

The Land Transport Authority should consider building a physical lane divider along the bus lane and not allow cars to use the bus lane to turn left.

In some overseas cities, this is done by having buses stop on the right side of the road instead, and building an island for bus stops.

Colin Tan Weijian

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2016, with the headline 'Unique problems causing congestion along Orchard Road'. Print Edition | Subscribe