ICA responds to queries about why Causeway is so jammed up in Dec. 2018

Everyone stuck in a traffic jam is the traffic jam.

Belmont Lay | December 21, 2018, 03:25 PM

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has responded to media queries regarding the recent congestion at the Woodlands and Tuas land crossings between Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

In a media statement on Dec. 19, ICA clarified that the slow-moving traffic during the year-end peak period is to be expected.

More than 400,000 travellers per day

ICA said travellers using the land checkpoints daily increases from 400,000 travellers to 430,000 during the year-end school holidays and festive periods.

ICA also said it observed that the heavy traffic situation at both land checkpoints between Dec. 14 and 16 this year was exacerbated by motorists who failed to observe lane discipline through rampant queue-cutting.

The issue was compounded as cars had broken down on the Causeway on two occasions during this period, and there was one bomb hoax incident.

These led to severe congestion for both arriving and departing traffic.

Real-time monitoring

ICA said it seeks to continue facilitating movement of travellers without compromising security.

This involves its officers putting in many overtime hours during this peak period and all available resources are being used, according to ICA.

One of its traffic management measures include cross-deployment of officers and flexible use of lanes for clearance of conveyances for cars, buses, lorries and motorcycles.

In what appears to be a response to address the apparent closure of checkpoint booths despite the heavy congestion, ICA said certain counters may have to be temporarily closed from time to time during shift changes or redeployment of officers to other high traffic areas.

Congestion expected

ICA anticipated the year-end congestion.

It shared an advisory on Nov. 12, 2018 that traffic flow through the land checkpoints at Woodlands and Tuas was expected to be heavy from Nov. 16, 2018 till the end of the year.

It said in the media statement: "This year is no exception, and longer waiting times are to be expected during this peak period of travel."

ICA also updates on the traffic situation at Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints through ICA’s Facebook page and the Expressway Monitoring & Advisory System (EMAS) installed along BKE and AYE respectively.