Car-Free Sunday to return on Oct 30, road closures to extend to Telok Ayer area

Joggers and cyclists take to the streets along Shenton Way on Car-Free Sunday on Feb 28, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE
Cyclists outside the National Gallery on Car-Free Sunday on April 24, which coincided with the launch of the Safe Riders Campaign. PHOTO: ST FILE
Members of the public picnicking on Empress Lawn in front of Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall on Car-Free Sunday on June 26. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - After a hiatus of two months, the Car-Free Sunday initiative will return on Sunday (Oct 30), with more roads to be closed and longer closure hours.

The monthly programme, which ran for six months earlier this year, will be expanded from the Central Business District and Civic District areas into the Telok Ayer conservation area.

Road closure timings will also be longer, from 8am to 11am, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who announced the initiative's return on Tuesday (Oct 25).

"Car-Free Sunday SG is a step towards our broader vision of a car-lite and people-friendly society," Mr Wong wrote in a blog post.

Under Car-Free Sunday, some roads are fully closed, and others partially, to provide spaces for the public to walk, jog, cycle and take part in recreational activities, such as mass workouts.

The pilot run between February and July attracted "tens of thousands of Singaporeans", said Mr Wong. "We've received lots of positive feedback. Many asked us to continue the event, and to expand the car-free route," he added.

Car-Free Sunday is held on the last Sunday of every month. The second instalment will run until April next year on the following dates: Oct 30, Nov 27, Jan 22, Feb 26, March 26 and April 30.

There will be no Car-Free Sunday in December, as the Marina Bay and Civic District areas will be used for the New Year's Eve countdown celebrations, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said.

In January, it will be held on the fourth Sunday, due to the Chinese New Year period at the end of the month.

The second run of Car-Free Sunday adds the Telok Ayer loop - comprising McCallum Street, Amoy Street, Boon Tat Street, Telok Ayer Street and Stanley Street.

This brings the total walking and cycling route to approximately 5.5km, up from 4.7km previously.

For the upcoming Car-Free Sunday on Oct 30, the public can enjoy free guided tours of the Thian Hock Keng Temple at Telok Ayer Street.

There will also be an educational walking trail along Ann Siang Hill and Telok Ayer Green, discussing the trade and ways of life of Singapore's early immigrants.

In his blog, Mr Wong said more community groups have come forward to contribute their ideas and activities. For instance, more cycling groups are organising guided cycling trips from the heartland to the Civic District, he said.

A "bike train" - comprising multiple bicycles connected in a train-like trail - will be another way for children, the elderly and those who are less mobile to tour the Civic District.

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