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Woodlands Checkpoint (Photo - Trung Đức)

Lack of open counters at Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints causes massive jams

Last weekend, a traffic nightmare came to life for travellers heading out of Singapore at both the Tuas and Woodlands Checkpoints on Friday evening and Saturday, 14th and 15th December.

Several people complained to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of a terrible jam and long queues and to get across to Johor that lasted for hours.

One passenger told Straits Times that she had to endure an 8 hour journey simply to get to her family in Johor Bahru (JB) on Friday afternoon. She was stuck at the Tuas checkpoint at 4.30pm on Friday evening and only made it into Johor at around 12.30am the next day.

The woman, known as Ms Winnie H. told ST that she regularly travels to JB and has noticed that the queues at customs are taking longer and longer to clear these days.

"Previously, the Singapore checkpoint would take about one and half hours around the 6pm to 7pm peak period, and an hour or less after that. It's usually relatively empty at Tuas Checkpoint before 5pm," Ms Winnie said.

Ms Winnie also told ST that apart from the inflated number of vehicles trying to get by, she also had to face many impolite drivers who were attempting to cut queues at the entrance, which caused further delays.

This apparently is becoming a common occurrence. Others have shared similar experiences of having to deal with ridiculous traffic jams when crossing the border into Malaysia:

Some netizens have pointed out that one of the reasons for the long queues last weekend was that very few counters were open at the checkpoint on the Singapore side. A few were specific with what they observed, stating that only 6 of the 16 counters were opened at Tuas despite the heavy traffic while some asked if the Singapore authorities are playing a tit-for-tat due to the recent disagreement with Malaysia.