LTA has announced that with the opening of the new Marina Coastal Expressway later this year, some ERP gantries along ECP and within the CBD area will be adjusted. However, ERP rates and operation hours will remain unchanged.
This was revealed when Transport Minister, Lui Tuck Yew, visited the work site of the new Marina Coastal Expressway yesterday morning.
Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) will be Singapore's 10th expressway and is 5 kilometres long.
According to LTA, the MCE will become the main route for motorists travelling between the ECP and KPE in the East and the AYE in the West.
The AYE stretches for 26.5 kilometres and spans from the end of the ECP to the West in Tuas and also connects to Malaysia via the Tuas Second Link.
With the new MCE, parts of the ECP within the city will be downgraded to become arterial roads to serve the new Downtown in Marina.
To ensure the smooth flow of traffic into the CBD, gantries towards ECP (Changi Airport) will be moved.
Those before the Rochor Road exit and the slip road into ECP from Ophir Road will be deleted. Instead, there will be new gantries situated along the eastbound direction of the MCE. This will be at the slip road into MCE from Marina Boulevard and on the ECP (Changi) before KPE.
Operating hours of the new gantries will remain the same during the peak hours of 6pm and 8pm. Existing ECP gantries towards the city will also be altered.
Those after Fort Road and on the slip road into ECP from Ophir Road will be removed.
Three existing gantries in the Shenton Way-Chinatown cordon will also be removed and replaced with another three (Sheares Avenue, Central Boulevard and Maxwell Road.)
According to Mr Lui, "Overall, motorists using these affected stretches of the roads will not be crossing more ERP gantries than today. For example, motorists using the ECP-MCE will only pay ERP once on that stretch, as is the case today."
Motorists travelling on AYE might have to pay more when four new gantries are erected in 2014.
Three - towards the city between Jurong Town Hall and Clementi roads - will be operational during the morning and evening peak hours on weekdays.
The fourth - towards Tuas near Clementi Road - will be turned on during the weekday evening peak hours only.
With the implementation of the new satellite-based ERP2 system in the near future, motorists might perceive it to be a fairer system with its distance based charging. But such a system will take several more years to be implemented.
Elaborating further, "Some motorists are worried that they will be charged the minute they leave home or start their engines. Let me assure you that we have no intention of doing so. At the commencement of ERP2, we will ensure that, from the perspective of the motorist, he will generally have the same paying experience," said Mr Lui.
Singapore currently has 71 ERP gantries. This will increase to 77 gantries by mid-2014.