KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — Tanah Rata assemblyman Chiong Yoke Kong suggested today restricting vehicle entry into Cameron Highlands as traffic in the tourist spot was paralysed during the long weekend.
The DAP representative said in a statement that the local government must start studying public transport policy, enforce traffic laws and restrict the influx of vehicles during holidays, noting that traveling 2 to 3km took three to four hours during the four-day holiday period.
“Cameron Highlands District Council can utilise the entrances at Blue Valley and Ringlet, and can even cooperate with the Perak state government to build parking lots at Tapah and Simpang Pulai which are at foothills in order to implement vehicle restrictions and provide feeder services such as small buses that bring tourists to Cameron Highlands,” said Chiong in a statement.
He said restricting the entry of vehicles into tourist attractions was a common traffic control measure in many countries, citing China as an example where traffic categories have been classified and there are feeder services to lead tourists’ vehicles to their connected parking spots.
Chiong said the construction of three extra main roads connecting Cameron Highlands — namely Jalan Ringlet-Sungai Koyan that connects Raub, Ringlet and Sungai Koyan, Jalan Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highlands and Jalan Gua Musang-Cameron Highlands — had made it convenient for tourists to come to Cameron Highlands from the West Coast, East Coast and Pahang over the past 20 years.
Chiong said that the traffic jam condition in Cameron Highlands can be classified into two categories based on its severity: Partial traffic jam in Kea Farm, Brinchang and Tanah Rata during normal weekends, as well as complete traffic congestion during school holidays and long weekends.
The average number of cars heading to Cameron Highlands during long holidays was more than 10,000 daily, according to Chiong.
The Tanah Rata assemblyman pointed out that although there were four roads connecting each entrance of Cameron Highlands, only one main road was available inside the Cameron Highlands area.
“The unplanned and disorganised development by the local and state government has created several traffic bottlenecks in Cameron Highlands,” added Chiong.
He also said that the local authorities have been lax in enforcing the law against vendors and tourists who park illegally at the roadsides.
Pahang is under Barisan Nasional control, while Cameron Highlands MP is Datuk C. Sivarraajh from MIC.