Transport authority ditches plans of underground road system in Singapore

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced the cessation of their plans to build the Singapore Underground Road System (SURS).

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As Singapore moves towards being a car-lite society, the plans of having an underground road system were ditched by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

In a joint statement, the transport and urban redevelopment authorities announced the de-safeguarding of the land previously intended for the Singapore Underground Road System (SURS).

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To recall, plans for the SURS were first laid out in the 1980s. It is composed of a 15km long underground arterial ring road system around the fringe of the city. It is expected to augment the potential traffic growth into and out of the city centre. The land intended for the underground network was already safeguarded in 1993.

The two authorities said the cancellation of the development of SURS gives previously affected land owners greater flexibility in their development plans.

"Enhancements to our public transport network and changes in land use policies have removed the need for SURS," spokespersons from LTA and URA said in a statement.

They noted that the city centre has already been served by a comprehensive public transportation network, which will be further improved once the Downtown Line commences its operations on October 21 this year.

The two government bodies said the opening of the Downtown Line will make travel easier for commuters travelling from the north-western and eastern regions of the island to the Central Business District (CBD) and Marina Bay areas.

Meanwhile, LTA and URA mentioned that the expected completion of the Thomson-East Coast Line in 2024 will connect commuters in the northern and eastern parts of the Lion City to the heart of Singapore. More so, the Circle Line Stage 6 is seen to close the loop for the Circle Line by around 2025.

"By 2030, our rail network will be 360km long, and more than 90 per cent of developments in the CBD will be within a five-minute walk to an MRT station," the two agencies stated.

They added, "As part of our polycentric development strategy, the Government has also been growing more commercial centres in different regions outside the city. This brings employment and amenities closer to homes, thereby reducing the need for travel into and out of the city centre."