SINGAPORE: The development of cycling paths in Singapore is being accelerated, with such paths expected to span about 800km by 2023.
This means the project would be two years ahead of the original schedule, which would have seen 750km of cycling paths in Singapore by 2025, noted Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min on Thursday (Mar 5) during the Ministry of Transport’s Committee of Supply debate.
This comes after Dr Lam said last year that the authorities were looking at bringing forward the expansion of the cycling path network “by a couple of years”, following a ban on the use of e-scooters on footpaths in November.
The Government will invest more than S$1 billion in the expansion of cycling paths over the next decade, as part of the new Islandwide Cycling Network Programme, he said.
By 2023, all Housing Board (HDB) towns will have cycling paths, said Dr Lam, adding that towns “which currently lack cycling paths or have many active mobility device users” will have cycling paths built first.
In a statement, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) pointed to 12 areas which currently have limited cycling path connectivity, including Bukit Batok, Hougang and Marine Parade.
“Residents across these towns will be able to look forward to better active mobility connectivity in the years to come,” the authority said.
This year will see the completion of sections of cycling paths in towns such as Ang Mo Kio and Tampines, as well as the start of construction of cycling paths in Toa Payoh.
Next year, work will begin on intra-town cycling paths in Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands, while new cycling paths in Geylang and Queenstown linking existing park connector networks (PCN) to the city centre will be completed.
In new HDB towns such as Tengah and Bidadari, “more comprehensive cycling paths” will be introduced, said LTA.
READ: LTA to boost length of cycling path network to 1,000km by 2040
READ: Plans to triple Singapore’s cycling network may be sped up ‘a couple of years’: Lam Pin Min
“By 2026, Singapore’s cycling path network will be expanded to 1,000km,” added Dr Lam, noting this will put eight in 10 HDB households “a few minutes away” from the cycling path network.
Most HDB residents will be within 250m of a cycling path – which is comparable to that of renowned cycling cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen, he said, adding that by 2030, the cycling path network will stretch 1,320km across the island.
Responding to concerns raised by Jurong GRC MP Ang Wei Neng, Dr Lam noted that trade-offs are necessary in constructing such paths in more mature estates.
“In some cases, we may need to reclaim grass verges and affect trees. In others, we may need to repurpose roads,” he said.
Dr Lam noted the planned expansion of the cycling path network would allow for more journeys between towns to be “carried out entirely on cycling paths”.
“Active mobility device users can look forward to a safer and more seamless riding experience, with fewer interruptions,” he said.