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LTA panel to look into rules on use of footpaths, cycling paths

SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has set up a panel to explore the rules and norms that should govern the use of footpaths and cycling paths.

New Active Mobility Advisory Panel talking to students from North Spring Primary School at the Road Safety Community Park as the children learn about road safety.  Photo: Holly Matthews/TODAY

New Active Mobility Advisory Panel talking to students from North Spring Primary School at the Road Safety Community Park as the children learn about road safety. Photo: Holly Matthews/TODAY

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SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has set up a panel to explore the rules and norms that should govern the use of footpaths and cycling paths.

These could include regulations on the use of bicycles and personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as motorised bicycles and scooters, as well as speed restrictions. 

The panel will also decide on the enforcement that should accompany these rules and norms, which will be compiled in a report by the second quarter of next year.

Changes could also be afoot for the myriad of rules currently regulating the use of bicycles and PMDs. For example, some town councils, such as the East Coast and Tampines town councils, have their regulations in this area. 

The members of the panel were revealed today (July 30) at a media briefing. Chaired by Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary (Health and Transport), the group comprises 13 other members including grassroots leaders, heads of groups representing cyclists, users of PMDs, and people with disabilities.

The panel will first seek feedback via an online survey, which will be conducted until Aug 31. Subsequently, focus group sessions will be held in October and November to take a deeper look into these issues, before the panel releases its report. 

The plan for public consultation was first announced earlier this year during the Transport Ministry’s Committee of Supply debate in Parliament. 

Assoc Prof Faishal said rules had to keep up with emerging trends. “I think it would be unwise to try and stop the trend (of bicycle and PMD use), because it is a global trend,” he said. 

He added: “I’m happy that (the panel) is willing to be part of this process to look at how to develop rules and norms to enable Singaporeans to use our space in a safe, practical way and to coexist harmoniously.” 

When asked how the new regulations would affect the myriad of existing regulations, he said: “It will evolve over time because our travel patterns and infrastructure are also changing … (The panel) will set the new rules and norms.” 

The panel is also looking for ideas to improve the physical environment and make the sharing of footpaths and cycling paths more intuitive.

Panel member Florence Cheong, who is president of the Singapore Association of Occupational Therapists, said she hoped the survey would reveal the factors inhibiting seniors and persons with disabilities from moving around, so that the new regulations can improve their travel experience. 

She hoped the survey would also bring to light “what would make it easier for them, safer for them, so that they are more confident to use the road like any of us”.

Other panel members said they hoped the new regulations would make best practices clearer for users of footpaths and cycling paths. “There is an understanding that we are trying to establish, so that we can share the space more harmoniously,” said Mr Francis Chu, co-founder of the Facebook group, LoveCyclingSG, which has more than 11,000 members. For example, he felt that because they move at greater speeds, cyclists should give way to pedestrians. 

Mr Denis Koh, chairman of Big Wheel Scooters, said he hoped the new rules would lift restrictions placed on the use of electric scooters. 

“The biggest concern for us is not being able to commute freely. Hopefully, with the rules coming into play, as well as social understanding and education, all this can change,” he said.

The public can take part in the online survey until Aug 31 at www.activemobilitysurvey.com.

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