Panel concludes public consultations on use of bicycles and PMDs on pathways

A man riding a PMD on a pavement along Holland Road on Mar 6, 2018. Recommendations will be made to the Government on possible amendments to regulations over the use of PMDs and bicycles here. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Active Mobility Advisory Panel has concluded a series of public consultations, aimed at gathering feedback on the safe use of bicycles and personal mobility devices (PMDs) on shared pathways.

The consultations, which began last month, focused on three areas - whether the use of helmets should be made mandatory for cyclists on the roads, safe speed limits for cyclists and PMD users on pathways, and whether riders should stop and dismount from their devices at road crossings.

Formed in 2015, the Active Mobility Advisory Panel developed a set of rules governing the use of footpaths and cycling paths. These regulations later became part of the Active Mobility Act, which came into effect earlier this month (May).

Feedback gathered from the public will be taken into account when the panel makes its recommendations to the Government on possible amendments to current regulations governing the use of PMDs and bicycles here later this year.

Consultations included an online survey, which received responses from more than 6,000 people, as well as the experiences of about 100 cyclists and PMD users tasked to ride at various speeds and dismount at crossings.

Focus group discussions were also conducted over the last two weeks.

About 30 participants - made up of pedestrians, motorists, cyclists and personal mobility device users - attended one such focus group discussion at the Land Transport Authority headquarters at Hampshire Road on Saturday (May 26).

One participant, researcher Su Anne Lee, 27, felt wider pathways could make it easier for cyclists and PMD users to get around, as well as help prevent accidents.

Another participant, Mr Patrick Chan, said while stricter regulations would allow for better enforcement as well as assessment of liability in accidents, a change of attitude is more important in ensuring the safe sharing of pathways.

"People need to learn to be more gracious, and look out for themselves as well as others," said the 56-year-old, who runs his own business.

The panel's chairman, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who attended Saturday's event, said it is important the panel considers the needs of pedestrians, motorists as well as cyclists and PMD users when making its recommendations.

The panel recognises that regulating the use of pathways is a work-in-progress, said Dr Faishal.

"This is a new phenomenon in Singapore so it is important that we are in touch with the ground."

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.