Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE)

I have driven along the KPE a few times since it opened a year ago. I find the KPE to be rather underused. There were few cars, and the traffic moved quickly.

KPE is supposed to provide a convenient connection for residents of Sengkang, Punggol and Hougang to bring them to the city and other parts of Singapore. There is a large catchment of residents here. Why are they not using the KPE?

I wonder if it is due to the poor connection to other roads? Or that people are still not familiar with the KPE?

On a few occasions that I used the KPE, I was lost. I took the wrong exits and had a great deal of trouble to find back the right way.

It is so very costly and took a long time to build the KPE. It is rather sad to see it being under-utilised. Its failure to attract more traffic means that the Central Expressway (CTE) continued to be congested.

10 years ago, I wrote to the Minister for Transport to build a second level for the CTE as it was clearly congested at that time. This suggestion was not taken up - presumably as the Ministry had taken the decision to build the KPE. I believe that the second level CTE would be have "cheaper, better and faster" in relieving traffic congestion in Singapore.

But, I may be wrong in declaring that KPE is under-utilised. Perhaps people who use it can share their experience.


  1. I use KPE almost on a daily basis and it is quite well utilized. Try going on it at peak hours and you'll see that it is almost bumper to bumper.

  2. I like the KPE.

    however, connection is quite limited as compared to PIE or CTE. I only use the connection from ECP to Bartley.

  3. REX comments as follows,

    KPE is very good. It is possible to go from Ang Mo kio to Marine Parade at high speed and safe too, entirely via expressway with no congestion via CTE PIE KPE ECP and exit at Marine Parade exit. Try going to katong area not using KPE and you would have to take paya lebar, terrible road esp at the junction near geylang serai.

    However the signage is extremely terrible, it is easy to get lost! Change lane provisions are dangerous too due to narrow positions at change lane stretches. There was a big gantry that says Sims Avenue but in actual fact that lane brings you to ECP and they seem to emphasise on smaller roads than bigger roads. This seems very common in Singapore.

    Many other bad examples of poor signages. In Katong near the big junction at Marine parade library, they have big signboards telling you the direction of "Joo Chiat" wherease what most motorists would want to know is the dircetion to ECP and city. In CTE, they have big signboards telling you "Lorong Halus" whereas most motorists just want to know the direction of whether we are heading yishun side or city side.

    Signages in our public roads are terrible. We should follow "Direction concept" and major locations first. The LTA has no fixed rules, i think they are very unprofessional. I wrote about Toa Payoh in another post recently, another nightmare.

    Can't blame anyone getting lost in KPE. Maybe that explains why it is underutilised. Most of the drivers especially females perhaps, are scared to make a try on this KPE.


  4. my house is near KPE, i don't drive but i also saw it being underutilized. it is rather odd that an ERP panel is already there, but i doubt it will be put to use anytime soon,judging by the traffic.

    my guess is ppl's driving patterns takes time to change.

  5. I stay in punggol and ride through KPE almost everyday. Its good in the sense that traffic is very smooth most of the times. During peak hours, it can be quite congested as well, but is nothing comparing to CTE. To be honest, i rather it stay this way, than to have another crazy traffic CTE.

  6. Yes, the KPE is under-utilised. The reasons, I think, are as follows:-
    1) KPE was not well publicised - many motorists do not know of the inter-connections, entry points, exits, etc. More publicity should educate motorists of its usefulness.
    2) the speed limit of 70 kph - should be increased to 90 kph for normal vehicles whereas for vans & heavy vehicles the 70 kph should stay put. At the moment, the slow-moving vehicles are sharing the lanes with the fast-moving vehilces thus slowing down the vehicular traffic.

  7. Mr Tan,

    You are indeed wrong about KPE. It is even used by Singaporeans driving from Woodlands to town. They find CTE jam too much to bear. It is such a good drive in KPE. Yes, the directional signs definitely need to be improved. There are many new entries/exits into KPE which users are definitely not too aware of, and with the road works above ground due to the circle line, it can only be more confusing. In time to come, KPE is going to be heavily utilised, and I hope that come later so that my selfish mode of enjoying the smooth flowing drive continues.

  8. I think in the long run, it is cheaper to maintain one level, that is, roads should on ground level. Those built above ground may have a life of 30 to 50 yrs and then need to rebuild.

  9. I think it takes time for the public to explore and use the KPE on a regular basis. The same thing happened on the North East Line (NEL). It took a few years before ridership reached the breakeven level, but now NEL is also getting crowded. Usually cannot get seats during peak periods, and even the last train on Fridays the seats are almost all occupied with sometimes one or two standing passengers.

    However, I do have one comment on the KPE. The entrances and exits in the Paya Lebar and Hougang area do not match and this can be very confusing.

  10. Dear Mr Tan, ihave to disagree your view with regard to the under utilisation for KPE. i stay in Punggol and i use it v often.

    Previously, from punggol to city, one will hve to travel via cte and it will take around 45 to 1 hr mins in the morning peak.

    With KPE, going to city only take less than 30-35 in the morning peak. Its not under utilised. Infact nowsaday it is getting more and more congested in the morning.

    How i wish less people discover the beauty of KPE. i know i am selfish but who doesnt want to own all the road by himself.

  11. Increase the speed limit to 80kph consistent with the other tunnels(CTE)you will see more motorist using it. Sometimes I rather use ECP/TPE for a faster arrival at Ponggol area.

  12. On the contrary, i feel that the speed limit of 70kph is the reason why traffic on the KPE is so smooth even during peak hours. There is no speeding, and therefore, less accidents which will jam up the expressway.

    I live in Sengkang and the KPE has made connections to the city much easier.

  13. KPE is not under utilised. There is almost a jam building up every morning from 7.45am - 9am.

    The speed limit of 70kph is also good meaning everyone is travelling at the same speed, meaning there is no tailgating which results in sudden braking and therefore either jams or accidents.

  14. Regarding signages as someone else mentioned, maybe instead of just showing the distance, we could follow something like the British system instead. E.g.

    M6 (name of the motorway)
    A (Direction)
    258.5 (Mileage)

    So imagine if we could improve on the second line and have something on our roads like this instead:

    Changi Airport

    After all our MRT directions are labelled by the terminal stop, so why not for expressway signage as well? I think this would make it a lot clearer to motorists when travelling!

  15. REX Comments again,

    Just one more for the database of stupidities of the LTA signages system.

    Try going to Balestier Road by CTE from AMK southwards. If you want to get to Balestiar road towards Kallang you have to take the exit to Balestier Road with the HUGE exit signboard saying "to Jalan Kebun Limau and Balestier Road". Where on earth you have time to think, driving at 70kmh whether Jalan Kebun Limau is kallang side or thomson side of Balestier Road!!!? How many people use Jalan Kebun Limau as a direction aid... The correct way to show the exits is simply Exit Balestier to Kallang, and the junction after that Exit Balestiar Road to Thomson. In fact the exit after that the huge signboard says Balestier and Moulmein and Thomson. Moulmein Road is also not well known, most people would use it to get to Newton Circus. That exit should have been Balestier exit to Newton Circus and Thomson. Newton circus is an important node because it leads to BukitTimah and malaysia, so direction pointer should mention Newton Circus, not Moulmein Road!?

    Do you know where on earth is jalan kebun limau, i still dont know and i've been driving ++20 years



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.