COS 2015 Debate: MND – Parking Lots for Heavy Vehicles (MP Lee Li Lian)

By MP for Punggol East SMC, Lee Li Lian
[Delivered in Committee of Supply on 10 March 2015]

Parking has been a major headache for many drivers of heavy vehicles in Singapore. There are a total of 41,600 heavy vehicle parking lots, out of which 10,400 public lots operated by URA and HDB and 31,200 private lots. While there are supposedly only 34,600 heavy vehicles on the register for all the lots, there is a long waiting list of 3900 heavy vehicles for public lots as of August 2014.

This is not too surprising since HDB charges $85 a month[i] and URA charges $130 a month[ii], whereas the average monthly season fee for each private lot is $275, more than double the fee for public lots. The monthly season fee for private lots is too expensive for most drivers of heavy vehicles, who are mostly paid on a “per-trip” basis[iii]. The lack of monthly fixed salaries also lead to long and odd working hours for many drivers, who end up having to drive their heavy vehicle back to park near their homes.

To earn more income, many drivers prefer to drive bigger vehicles but are unable to afford the parking charges for private lots and are stuck on the waitlist for public lots.  They often have to resort to parking at open air car parks or along the roadside at night. They know they may get a parking summons as a result, but they have no choice but to take the risk. One such summons will cost the family approximately $100.  I have residents in Punggol East who are at risk of getting summons on a daily basis.

One possible solution for this is for HDB and URA to take over private heavy vehicle parks and expand the number of public lots, especially those private heavy vehicle parks situated close to estates where the population has increased sharply in recent years in the Central, North and Northeast regions. This will help residents who work in jobs requiring them to drive the heavy vehicles to be able to park their vehicles with a peace of mind at the end of a long working day and return home quickly to enjoy time with the family. This will also reduce the number of heavy vehicles plying into residential area which is a potential danger to road users.

For another group of vehicle owners, they face a different parking problem. Certain medium-sized vehicles are too tall to enter the Multi-storey Car Parks in our HDB estates, but there are no open air car park for such vehicles in many new HDB estates.

In many instances, the residents feedback to me that they have no choice but to park along the side of a road. Would it be possible to look into more open air car parks, or to reserve a number of lots in open air car parks for vehicles that are above the height limits for the MCSP?