Seletar Hills residents call for brakes on heavy vehicle park

Seletar Hills residents fear congestion but URA says separate access road will be built

A fence (left) has been put up around the site of the heavy vehicle park, which is along Yio Chu Kang Road and faces the junction with Begonia Road.
A fence (above) has been put up around the site of the heavy vehicle park, which is along Yio Chu Kang Road and faces the junction with Begonia Road.ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO
A fence (left) has been put up around the site of the heavy vehicle park, which is along Yio Chu Kang Road and faces the junction with Begonia Road.
A fence has been put up around the site of the heavy vehicle park, which is along Yio Chu Kang Road and faces the junction with Begonia Road.ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO

Residents of Seletar Hills Estate are up in arms over an upcoming heavy vehicle park (HVP), citing safety and traffic congestion.

Works on the HVP, which have started at a site along Yio Chu Kang Road facing the junction with Begonia Road, are expected to finish by next year.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said the site, which will have capacity for 430 heavy vehicles, will replace an existing park in Anchorvale Crescent that is slated for redevelopment.

The HVP is part of a planned industrial estate due in 2019. Its location was chosen for the convenience of drivers living in the island's north-east, said the URA, and it is more than 100m away from the nearest landed homes.

A new access road will be built to connect the park to Yio Chu Kang Road. A URA mailer to residents said the intersection "will be a left-in-left-out junction" to ease congestion and enhance safety.

A URA spokesman said: "There will be no direct access to the HVP from Yio Chu Kang Road. Heavy vehicles will also not have direct access to the roads within the Seletar Hills Estate."

But residents are still worried.

SUFFICIENT RESEARCH?

We feel (the authorities) haven't done enough traffic studies at the right time, especially early in the morning, to determine the intensity of the traffic.

MR PERCIVAL JEYAPAL, chairman of the Seletar Hills Estate Residents' Association, on how the park could result in more congestion in the area.

CHOOSING SITES

While we try to ensure a good distribution of heavy vehicle parking facilities islandwide, some areas may require more parking spaces to cater to higher localised demand.

A SPOKESMAN FOR THE URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Mr John Phang, 64, a retired book publisher, said: "You can't prevent these heavy vehicles from making U-turns along the road, especially to enter the expressway."

Mr Percival Jeyapal, 74, chairman of the Seletar Hills Estate Residents' Association, said: "We feel (the authorities) haven't done enough traffic studies at the right time, especially early in the morning, to determine the intensity of the traffic."

Residents also said they found out about the project only early this month, despite the Government having called for a tender last December. The URA said it met Seletar West Neighbourhood Committee representatives twice last year and has briefed "different groups of residents" twice this year, while MP Ang Hin Kee said grassroots leaders held a community event on April 30 and will "continue to take on feedback and suggestions from residents".

The URA spokesman said: "We continue to be in touch with agencies and the local community to further address any concerns over the new HVP."

Data analytics professional Paul Jansen, 64, who lives in the area, intends to launch an online petition against the HVP.

Residents have also proposed alternative sites, such as near Seletar Airport, or moving the access point. Retiree Ho Bee Bong, 64, said: "If it's sited further away, where dispersal is easier, the smaller roads will not be clogged up."

In February this year, Singapore had about 43,190 heavy vehicle parking spaces, in excess of the 33,680 registered heavy vehicles, according to the Ministry of National Development.

About one-quarter of those spaces were near residential areas and managed by URA and the Housing Board, with the rest privately managed and in industrial estates.

"While we try to ensure a good distribution of heavy vehicle parking facilities islandwide, some areas may require more parking spaces to cater to higher localised demand," said the URA spokesman.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2017, with the headline 'Residents call for brakes on heavy vehicle park'. Subscribe