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Liang Eng Hwa urges LTA to seek better solution after 'drastic changes' to some Bukit Panjang-city bus services

Liang Eng Hwa urges LTA to seek better solution after 'drastic changes' to some Bukit Panjang-city bus services

File photo of an SMRT bus.

SINGAPORE:  Bukit Panjang Member of Parliament-elect (MP-elect) Liang Eng Hwa has urged the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to work together to find a better solution after "drastic changes" were made to some bus services that ply the Bukit Panjang to city route.

"I am saddened that they have no regard on how these changes will impact our residents’ lives," said Mr Liang in a Facebook post on Monday (Aug 3).

Mr Liang's comments follow concerns raised by residents of the upcoming withdrawal of services 700 and 700A and changes to services 171 and 972.

SMRT said in a release earlier on Monday that services 700 and 700A would cease operations on Aug 16, while service 171 would be amended to operate from Yishun bus interchange and loop around Bukit Panjang MRT station instead of continuing towards Marina Centre bus terminal.

Service 972 would be amended to serve Bukit Timah/Dunearn Road, Newton MRT and Scotts Road.

Mr Liang noted that ridership for service 700 had "indeed fallen sharply", with many residents opting to take the Downtown Line MRT.

However, he added that he had been engaging LTA to find alternative solutions that would balance accessibility concerns for residents and optimal routes for bus service providers.

"Like all of you, I am very disappointed that LTA has decided to go ahead with the withdrawal of Svc 700/700A and changes to Svc 972 & 171. These drastic changes will cause inconveniences to our residents; especially those who (commute) to the city area," said Mr Liang.

"Unfortunately, the bus planners at LTA are not open to our alternative suggestions," he added.

SMRT said in its announcement of the withdrawal of services 700 and 700A that commuters can instead take service 973 and connect to the Downtown Line MRT when travelling to the city area.

Following the changes to service 171, commuters along Upper Bukit Timah Road and Bukit Timah Road or Dunearn Road can take the Downtown Line or alternative bus services along those corridors, SMRT added.

As for changes to service 972, commuters travelling from Bukit Panjang to Stevens Road can take service 972 to Whitley Road (after Tanglin CC) and connect to services 105, 132 or 190, said SMRT.

Commuters who criticised the changes said that they were disruptive and would increase the travelling time for riders.

"I am very sorry for the inconveniences that the changes will cause to our residents," said Mr Liang.

"I strongly urge LTA to consider delaying the changes and work with us on a better solution," he added.

Source: CNA/jt

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