Move Towards Land Transport SystemIris Kong
6th June, 2012
Brunei Darussalam’s first roadmap and master plan for a sustainable land transportation system have been set in motion following a signing ceremony between the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS) and the appointed UK-based consortium, SQW China, to commence a study on the matter.
The study, which will take 12 months to complete, is aimed at coming up with solutions for an integrated quality, efficient, safe and sustainable transport service network to support the goals of Vision 2035 as well as the National Land Transport Master Plan and related White Paper for the country up to the year 2035 and beyond.
This study will involve all forms of inland trans-portation, including private and commercial vehicles, public transport overland, waterways, bicycles and pedestrian walkways, within the Sultanate and cross borders.
Public transport in this case refers to the conven-tional modes (buses and taxis), futuristic modes (MRT, LRT, Trams and Intelligent Transport Networks, among others) or combinations (park and ride).
Held at the CSPS Building’s Sukma Indera Hall in Gadong, the signing ceremony to start the “Review to Formulate a Roadmap and Draft Master Plan for a Sustainable Land Transportation System” was witnessed by Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, the Minister of Communications.
Also present were the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, Dato Paduka Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, the British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam, Rob Fenn, as well as permanent secretaries and chief executive officers from relevant organisations in both the public and private sectors.
Signing on behalf of CSPS was Executive Director, Dato Paduka Dr Haji Ismail bin Haji Duraman, while SQW China was represented by Managing Director Gary Ho.
In his welcoming remarks, the Chairman of CSPS, Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Roselan bin Haji Mohd Daud, said, “As we all know, under Vision 2035, Brunei Darussalam aims to optimise its future economic and social developments.
“This requires a national effort that is multidisciplinary and needed to be tackled at all angles. The formulation of a viable and sustainable national land transportation system is a very important path towards Vision 2035.”
“We are cognisant that there are some pressing issues,” he continued.
“Among others, these issues are: a limited public transport network; high dependence on private vehicles; increasing traffic congestion; quite high levels of road casualties and fatalities; the need to have better integration between transportation and land use planning; better connectivity and accessibility between districts and for rural areas; improvements in regional and cross-border transport linkages; reduction of high energy consumption in the transportation sector and its environmental impact; and last, but not least, the need for a workable system, which offers practical choices and solutions for the transportation requirements of both planners and end-users.”
“When the CSPS Board of Directors sat down to refine the Terms of Reference for the study, these transportation challenges and the overarching goals of Vision 2035 have guided us in our deliberation,” revealed the chairman.
“This National Land Transportation Master Plan will be highly important because it is in line with the strategies of Vision 2035 on infrastructural development, as well as economic development, education, small business development and institutional strengthening.
“Moreover, it is hoped that the implementation of a well-designed land transport master plan, one which also takes into account the community aspirations of our society, will not only help to increase efficiency in the movement of people and commodities, but also to improve economic growth and overall productivity,” he added.
“CSPS has already sought crucial partnerships from the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Development and together, our partners have been instrumental in framing the project’s objectives and the appointment of the appropriate consultancy group with substantial technical and policy expertise to conduct the study.”
On top of this partnership with main stakeholders, Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Roselan revealed that “CSPS has also set up a Project Advisory Committee, a local steering committee whose role is to monitor the study throughout the period, making sure that it stays in the right direction towards achieving Brunei’s development needs”.
In providing an overview of the Terms of Reference, CSPS Chief Researcher Dr Diana Cheong stated that the expected outcomes of the study are a multi-modal land transportation strategy (White Paper) and a detailed implementation plan (Master Plan) for the whole Sultanate, via demographic projections, traffic counts, traffic forecasting, study of community expectations and future scenario analysis, which will be evaluated in line with Vision 2035.
She also said that there would be a special focus on socialisation and raising awareness, as well as safer initiatives for schools and new sustainable technology.
The implementation plan will be practical, taking into account various requirements (financial, infra-structural, institutional and governance) for delivery over the short, medium and long terms.
The consultants from SQW China and sub-consultants from Atkins UK then gave two presentations on the project’s objectives and scope of work, as well as new trends and thinking in transport policy. There was also an open discussion on the key issues and challenges.
The event concluded with closing remarks from Dato Paduka Dr Haji Ismail bin Haji Duraman, who reiterated his appreciation for the commitment and support of the stakeholders and all participants.
Source: The Brunei Times