Budget debate: $315m to expand and enhance parks, park connector network and recreational routes

Artist impression of a new 7.6ha park to be built in Teachers' Estate near Upper Thomson by 2024. PHOTO: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD

SINGAPORE - A new 62km-long walking and cycling route linking Tuas to Changi is in the works.

The C2C Southern Trail was one of four new recreational routes announced by National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Thursday (March 4), during the debate on his ministry's budget.

Also coming up: A 25km-long Coast-to-Coast Northern Trail, linking Sungei Buloh to Khatib Bongsu; a 34km Central Corridor that will link Woodlands to the city centre, and an 18km Eastern Corridor that links East Coast to Pasir Ris.

When completed by 2030, they will be part of a network of eight recreational routes here spanning 360km.

In all, more than $315 million will be committed to develop the new routes and other projects to expand and enhance parks and the Park Connector Network (PCN) - $80 million on park development, $90 million on park redevelopment, and over $145 million on enhancing islandwide connectivity through park connectors and recreational routes.

The recreational routes consist of park connectors at some points, and will complement plans to establish 500km of park connectors, also by 2030.

With the park connectors and recreational routes, Mr Lee said all sorts of visitors will have an immersive experience - families, hikers and cyclists.

"At the same time, they will add to our island's ecological connectivity and resilience," he added.

Of the eight routes, just one has been completed - Coast-to-Coast Central Trail from Jurong Lake Gardens to Coney Island Park.

Besides the trails, Mr Lee said 130ha of new parks and 170ha of existing parks will be redeveloped from now to 2026.

This includes two new parks.

The first, a 7.6ha park at Teachers' Estate near Upper Thomson, will be completed by 2024.

An existing forested area at the site will be conserved and included in the park, which will have a nature play garden and a therapeutic garden.

The park will also link the Catchment Nature Reserve to Lower Seletar Reservoir.

Meanwhile, a 0.5ha park will also be built at Cambridge Road in Farrer Park by 2024.

An artist's impression of a new 0.5ha park to be built in Cambridge Road by 2024. PHOTO: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD
An artist's impression of the redeveloped Mount Faber Park, which will be ready by 2026. PHOTO: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD

As for park redevelopment plans, the 58.8ha Mount Faber Park will be rejuvenated by 2026.

Improvements include enhancing connectivity from Henderson Waves to Faber Peak, and boosting biodiversity by conserving native plant and animal species, and curating natural habitats for flora and fauna.

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