GEORGE TOWN, Aug 7 ― The Second Penang Bridge mainly caters for South Seberang Perai (SPS) by connecting it to the south of the island, Zairil Khir Johari said after the Auditor-General’s Report highlighted the bridge’s failure to reduce traffic congestion on the first bridge.
The public works, utilities and flood mitigation committee chairman said it was not surprising that traffic on the first bridge was not alleviated by the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Bridge (JSAHMS).
“This is obvious when we look at what the bridge connects ― which is SPS to the south of the island,” Zairil told Malay Mail yesterday.
The Penang state executive councillor said the industrial area is in Bayan Lepas to the south, but the main residential corridors on the mainland are in North Seberang Perai and Central Seberang Perai.
“However the second bridge is a long term project and we will see it being used much more regularly once SPS is more developed,” he said.
He pointed out that Batu Kawan, as a new township, will host lots of residential developments and this will see the second bridge becoming much more useful.
This is why, he said, in the short term, the value of the second bridge for daily commuters was not as high compared to the first bridge which was more convenient.
Zairil was commenting on the Auditor-General’s report that the second bridge had failed to meet its aim of reducing traffic congestion on the first bridge.
The A-G found that consumers still prefer the first bridge over the second bridge.
When asked to comment, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the second bridge was not a state project.
He did not elaborate further on this, saying he needed time to read the A-G’s report on this issue first.