BUTTERWORTH: The trial run of the tidal flow system aimed at easing traffic congestion at the Penang Bridge toll plaza did not work out as planned as thousands of users were caught in the morning rush hour.
The trial run, which started at 7.30am yesterday, saw Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB) traffic controllers and policemen halting the traffic 300m from the toll plaza before letting them through in batches.
The system is similar to that at the ferry terminals with vehicles directed to the respective lanes before embarking the ferries.
The congestion stretched for about 2km and it was aggravated when heavy vehicles started coming in after the daily ban period at 8.30am.
Heavy vehicles are banned from using the bridge from 6.30am to 8.30am and from 5pm to 7pm daily to ensure smooth traffic flow.
State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng, who was at the scene yesterday, expressed his unhappiness saying that PBSB should deploy more personnel to direct the vehicles.
“There was insufficient personnel to direct traffic and the lack of communication between them made things worse. We will hold a meeting to iron out the problems,” he told reporters at the scene yesterday. The trial run will be implemented for a week.
Taxi driver K. Chandran, 37, who was caught in the traffic jam, said the system had caused delay and he was rushing to send his passenger to the Penang International Airport to catch a flight.
Engineer S. Muniandy, 31, said he was caught in the jam for 30 minutes as he waited in the queue to cross the bridge to his factory in Bayan Lepas. “Today is the worst day for me,” he added.
However, Universiti Sains Malaysia staff V. Vasantha had a different view and praised PBSB for the effort.
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