Due to its urban character, Singapore has a dense network of well-maintained roads. Several highways, called Expressways, crisscross the island, and there are two bridges between Singapore and Malaysia. In total, Singapore owns 160 kilometers of highway. There are nine highways, construction of the first highway started in 1966. Singapore’s highway network is directly connected to Malaysia ‘s highway network, something relatively rare outside of Europe. Most highways are constructed with 2×3 or 2×4 lanes. Due to space constraints, cloverleafs are not used, but other types of connections, such as stack nodes and SPUI’s. Emergency lanes may be missing or very narrow. Due to the short distances, there are no rest areas along the highway.
According to wholevehicles, what is striking in Singapore is the special landscaping of the highways, with neatly maintained verges, overgrown noise barriers and crash barriers with colorful flowers and trees in the central reservation that cover almost the entire highway with an evergreen color. The quality of the road surface is always high, partly due to the absence of much heavy freight traffic.
The Whampoa Interchange between the Pan-Island Expressway and the Central Expressway.
From the 1960s onwards, Singapore began to gain importance in international trade, with a strong population growth, coupled with an increase in wealth leading to an increase in car ownership. In 1960 Singapore had 1.6 million inhabitants. In the 1960s, therefore, it became clear that highways were needed to keep traffic moving. Construction began on the first highway, the Pan Island Expressway, in 1966. Very few highway sections were opened in the 1970s, only the East Coast Parkwaywas opened, partly due to the planned opening of Changi International Airport in 1981 on the east of the island. By 1980, Singapore’s population had grown to 2.3 million, and then began to accelerate. The western port area was also further developed, which led to significant growth in housing projects outside the traditional center. Several highways were built in the 1980s, such as the Central Expressway and Bukit Timah Expressway to the north and the Ayer Rajah Expressway to the west.
- According to Abbreviationfinder, Singapore is a city state.
The Seletar Expressway was also built in the late 1980s, as more and more developments were taking place in the north of Singapore. From the 1990s, the Kranji Expressway was also opened, as well as the Tampines Expressway, which now provided tangential connections in Singapore, eliminating the need for other parts of the city via the center. In 1990 the population rose above 3 million and in the following years the growth of the population accelerated. By 2000 Singapore exceeded 4 million inhabitants, so that continuous expansion of the highway network was necessary. In the first decade of 2000, the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expresswayopened, a largely underground highway. Subsequent highways will mainly be built underground. Due to the southward expansion of the center, the East Coast Parkway had to be demolished. Instead, the underground Marina Coastal Expressway has been constructed, a new 2×5 lane expressway, also Singapore’s widest expressway. It was opened on December 29, 2013.
Singapore is struggling with a lack of space, especially around the city center. Due to height restrictions due to air traffic, the center cannot expand in height. To this end, the center will be expanded southwards. In the near future, the construction of the North-South Expressway is planned, an underground highway that is intended to accommodate the growth of both the center and the neighborhoods in the north. The road should relieve the Central Expressway. These large-scale projects will be carried out until mid-2026.
Bridges to Malaysia
- Johor–Singapore Causeway (1923)
- Malaysia–Singapore Second Link (1998)
See Electronic Road Pricing for the main article.
In Singapore an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) is applied. The toll during rush hours is considerably higher than outside rush hours and is quite hefty by international standards. The toll charge has increased crowds outside peak hours, because commuters have started to avoid the expensive peak hours. During rush hours, the average speed has increased by 20%. In the future, they want to introduce real-time pricing, whereby the kilometer price is determined directly on the basis of congestion. Trials were held in 2006 and 2007.
|Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) • Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) • Central Expressway (CTE) • East Coast Parkway (ECP) • Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) • Kranji Expressway (KJE) • Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) • North -South Expressway (NSE) • Pan Island Expressway (PIE) • Seletar Expressway (SLE) • Tampines Expressway (TPE)|
|Asian Highways in Singapore|
|AH2 • AH143|
There is no road numbering in Singapore, the names of main roads and highways are used.
Singapore uses green signs on the highways, with white letters. The signage is relatively simple, without much aesthetic frills. Due to the tropical vegetation in Singapore, and the Parkway -like design of most highways, not all signage is visible from a great distance. The verges are narrow and often planted, but well maintained. All signage is in English. Arrow boards are used as they are also found in the United Kingdom.
Because there are no other cities in Singapore, goals are not used, as in most countries, but references are made to points in the city, or intersecting highways. Exit numbers are indicated in plain text, for example “exit 22”. Portal signs are used quite rarely, so it is not always easy to read all the signage on roads with many lanes in one direction.
Mileage markers have a round shield with the abbreviation of the Expressway name, with the value underneath.
Electronic signs such as DRIPs/VMSs are widely used, which inform road users about road conditions. Lane signaling is used in tunnels.
All regular road markings are in white. At exits or junctions, arrows are displayed on all lanes.
The use of crash barriers is common on highways, although often overgrown with vegetation. The condition of the guardrail is good. On the underlying road network, curbs are often equipped with black and white reflective paint.
Common European road signs are used in Singapore. Some signs have been modified, such as the give way sign, which has the text “give way”. There are also more textual signs in Singapore than in Europe, such as “reduce speed now”.
The speed limit in Singapore is 50 km/h unless otherwise stated. The speed limit is 90 km/h on expressways. Speed limits of 40, 50, 70 and 80 km/h may also occur.
Parking is cheap in Singapore. Most parking garages in the center have an hourly rate of 1.50 – 2.50 SGD per hour, which equates to approximately €0.80 – €1.40 per hour. Parking costs are only significantly higher at a number of hotels. There are variable rates for the day, evening and weekend.
Singapore residents must bid for a certificate to purchase a car. This certificate is called a Certificate of Entitlement and is valid for 10 years, after which the car must be scrapped or exported and the purpose is to limit car ownership. For many residents, owning a car is therefore not affordable, given the already high cost of living in Singapore. The prices are variable and are usually between 50,000 and 70,000 SGD (approximately € 30,000 – 40,000). Prices sometimes fluctuate in the tens of thousands of Singapore dollars per month. A regular family car therefore quickly costs 90,000 SGD or more.
In 2013, Singapore recorded 160 road deaths, or 34 per 1 million inhabitants, making Singapore a very safe country.