Heavy vehicles banned from three NSE stretches during peak hours

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PETALING JAYA: In a bid to ease traffic congestion on the North-South Expressway during morning peak hours, heavy vehicles have been banned from certain stretches from Aug 2.

The ban applies to vehicles, except buses, weighing 10,000kg and more.

These vehicles must stay off designated stretches from 6.30am to 9.30am on weekdays.

The routes were the New Klang Valley Expressway between Shah Alam and Jalan Duta, the North-South Expressway between Sungai Buloh and Bukit Lanjan and Federal Highway Route 2 between Subang and Sg Rasau.

Plus Expressways Berhad managing director Noorizah Abd Hamid said the slow movement of heavy vehicles was a main contributing factor to traffic congestion especially during peak hours.

“The situation is made worse when these heavy vehicles are stranded due to breakdowns and accidents,” said Noorizah.

The ban is in line with the existing one, implemented by Kuala Lumpur City Hall on heavy vehicles entering the city during the morning and evening peak hours.

Noorizah said Plus would study the possibility of extending the ban to evening peak hours.

She also advised lorry drivers to use alternative routes (see map).Federal Traffic Chief SAC Datuk Abdul Aziz Yusof said those who violated the ban could be compounded up to RM300 and if they decide to challenge the matter in court and lose, they can be fined up to RM1,000, jailed three months or both.

The police, he said, would work closely with Plus to come out with the best mechanism to enforce the ban.

However, exemption will be given to vehicle operators that can prove that their goods must arrive at the ports at specific times.

In an immediate response, Fede­ration of Malaysian Manufacturer president Tan Sri Mustafa Mansur said the move would not cause much impact as lorries could still use other routes to get to their destinations.

“Although it is further, the cost of diesel will be the same as lorries are not stuck in traffic jams if they take the highway,” he said while urging haulier companies to reschedule their deliveries to prevent delays in the arrival of goods.

Pan Malaysia Lorry Drivers Association president Er Sui See, however, was unhappy with the ban, calling it unfair and a major hassle.

“Why must they ban us? We also pay toll,” he said.

“It is ridiculous to expect us to apply for temporary permits each time we need to use the highway during the ban time.”

*Articles by Thestar.com.my


PETALING JAYA: Lorries and trailers will be banned from plying three stretches of the Plus Highway during the morning peak hours beginning next Monday.Plus Expressways Bhd chief operating officer Nik Airina Nik Jaffar said the restriction would be in effect take place from 6.30am to 9.30am daily on weekdays, and lifted on weekends and public holidays.

The affected areas are the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) between Shah Alam and Jalan Duta (from Km9.3 to Km31), North-South Expressway (NSE) between Sungai Buloh and Bukit Lanjan (Km456.05 to Km459.32) and Federal Highway Route 2 between Subang and Sungai Rasau (Km5.6 to Km19.2)
“The move will reduce traffic congestion and ensure smoother traffic flow at the three stretches as they hold heavy traffic in the morning. An average of 100,000 to 250,000 vehicles head towards Kuala Lumpur during morning peak hours.

“There are at least five heavy vehicles that break down at the affected areas each day.

“They have three times the normal tendency to break down and when this happens, it slows down other motorists rushing to work.
“We want to provide convenience and comfort to motorists during that period,” she said.

The heavy vehicles are those classified under the Class 2 and Class 3 categories and weighing 10,000kg and above laden or 10,000kg and above unladen.

These comprise tipper lorries, six-wheelers and trailers.
Nik Airina said accidents involving heavy vehicles could delay other motorists as removing the vehicle and its load was not an easy task and required heavy machinery to be brought to the site.

Plus Expressways, she said, took a year to study alternative routes. Two have been identified for those coming from the North and South heading towards Port Klang (see chart).

The alternative routes would not incur extra costs to the operators as they are parallel routes which are less congested. This will, in turn, result in fewer cases of breakdowns.

Nik Airina advised heavy vehicle drivers to make use of the parking facilities provided at rest and service areas (RSAs) on the highway during the restricted period. The RSAs are located at the Sungai Buloh overhead bridge restaurant, Sungai Buloh lay-by, Rawang lay-by, Ulu Bernam, USJ overhead bridge restaurant, Dengkil, Seremban, Serdang lay-by and Nilai lay-by.

Nik Airina said the move was to complement Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s ban on heavy vehicles entering the city centre from 6.30am to 9.30am and 4.30pm to 7.30pm on weekdays.

Malaysian Highway Authority central regional director Zahratul ’Ula (correct) Mohd Ibrahim said they had sought the Association of Malaysian Hauliers and Pan Malaysia Lorry Owners’ Association’s opinions on the ban through dialogue sessions.

“The feedback we obtained was positive. They also agreed that this was the best practice to ease congestion.

“The associations will be doing their part by informing the operators and drivers of the ban,” she said.

Regulatory signage on the road restriction will be put up along the routes and notices given to lorry drivers as they enter and exit the toll plazas.

Nik Airina added that vehicles belonging to government agencies such as the police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence department, Prisons Department, cleaning and disposal trucks are exempted from the ban.

Plus Expressways Bhd managing director, Noorizah Abd Hamid, who was present at the briefing, said slow and heavy vehicles had been identified as one of the main contributing factors to traffic congestion along the routes, especially during peak hours.

“The situation is made worse when these heavy vehicles are stranded on the highway because of breakdowns or accidents.

“With the restriction, we expect the morning peak congestion to ease,” she said.

Noorizah said Plus Expressways would monitor the implementation of the morning restriction first before moving ahead with plans to impose a similar ban during evening peak hours to emulate a pilot project in Penang which started two years ago.

Federal traffic police chief SAC Datuk Abdul Aziz Yusof, who was also present at the present, said the road restriction had been gazetted under the Road Transport Act Section 70(1) and (2).

“Lorry drivers who defy the restriction risk a RM300 summons under Section 70(4) of the same act should they be found in the areas during the ban period. They can also be hauled to court to face a fine of not more than RM1,000 or three months’ imprisonment or both,” he said.

Aziz said the police were supportive of Plus Expressway’s move and men would be deployed to help monitor the traffic.

Pan Malaysia Lorry Owners’ Association president Er Sui See, however, was unhappy with the restriction. “We are also paying toll like the rest of the motorists. We should not be blamed for causing traffic congestion to other motorists because everyone should plan their journey ahead and manage their time better.

“We will definitely suffer loses because we use more diesel and take more time to head towards the alternative routes.

“Although we are upset, we have no choice but to use the alternative routes recommended by Plus.”

Read more: Ban will ease rush hour jams http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/Banwilleaserushhourjams/Article/#ixzz0vbGPPNoq