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Response to “Exercise flexibility at checkpoint” (The Straits Times, 30 Dec 2022) and "Install barriers at checkpoint" (The Straits Times, 6 Jan 2023)

The Straits Times
9 January 2023

Barriers prevent queue-cutting and ensure orderly traffic

We refer to the letters from Mr Kevin Ho (Exercise flexibility at checkpoint, Dec 30, 2022) and Mr Daniel Tan Jia Hao (Install barriers at checkpoint, Jan 6).

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) monitors traffic conditions in real time and dynamically adjusts the deployment of officers to manage the changing traffic situation.

As pointed out by Mr Ho, arrival car traffic through Woodlands Checkpoint was heavy on Dec 27, 2022 due to the year-end holiday season. Officers from other clearance zones were redeployed to the arrival car zones to increase manning levels there. When Mr Ho arrived at zone 1, some officers were on their scheduled breaks. This was why he had at that time observed that there were more operational counters in arrival car zone 2.

Mr Ho suggested removing the barriers between the car zones to allow traffic queues to even out between the zones. Mr Tan, on his part, suggested installing physical barriers to prevent queue-cutting and improve traffic flow.

We would like to clarify that there are presently various barriers placed between the arrival zones as well as between the departure zones, to prevent queue-cutting and ensure that the traffic flows into the checkpoint in an orderly manner. The removal of the barriers may worsen the traffic situation and result in longer waiting times for travellers. It may also result in more vehicular accidents at the checkpoint, and more unhappiness among drivers who perceive others cutting in front of them.

We thank Mr Ho and Mr Tan for their feedback.

Patrick Ong
Head, Strategic Communications & Media Relations
Corporate Communications & Service Division
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority

<Original Letter>

The Straits Times (Excerpt)
30 Dec 2022

Exercise flexibility at checkpoint

On Tuesday, when I drove back to Singapore via the Causeway at around 10.15pm, it took me about 50 minutes to be processed. It is to be expected that traffic will be heavy during the busy holiday season.

Zone1, which I was in had four counters open, while the adjacent Zone 2 had eight counters and processing was comparatively faster.

If the movable dividers between Zone 1 and 2 were adjusted, both zones could have shared the 12 counters and evened out the time taken at both.

Kevin Ho

<Original Letter>

The Straits Times (Excerpt)
6 Jan 2023

Install barriers at checkpoint

I propose that physical barriers be installed at Woodlands Checkpoint to prevent queue-cutting and improve traffic flow. Barriers would also have environmental benefits by reducing the need for sudden lane changes and braking, which can lead to higher fuel consumption and emissions.

Daniel Tan Jia Hao