MELAKA, Jan 12 — The Vehicle-Free Zone at Banda Hilir here will continue to be implemented but with certain adjustments, especially in the aspect of traffic dispersal, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh.
He said a few more contra lanes might be introduced to make it easier for vehicles to enter the surrounding areas.
“The Vehicle-Free Zone at Banda Hilir is still at the trial stage and we are getting public feedback to improve its implementation.
“However, the Vehicle-Free Zone will be a permanent feature on weekends, from Friday to Sunday, as it will add value to the tourist area, benefiting tourists and tourism product operators,” he told reporters after delivering his 2024 New Year address to civil servants here today.
He said any negative impact from the implementation of the Vehicle-Free Zone would be temporary and the people, especially traders in the vicinity, would see its benefits in a few months’ time.
Citing an example, he said the Jonker Walk Vehicle-Free Zone had also initially met with strong opposition from various quarters but people are now asking for it to be maintained because of the economic benefits it brings.
The Vehicle-Free Zone at Banda Hilir involves a 54-hour road closure, from 6pm on Friday until midnight on Sunday.
The road closure and traffic diversion begins from the Jalan Laksamana Intersection with Jalan Banda Kaba (between Public Bank Banda Hilir and Madonna buildings) through Jalan Banda Kaba, Lorong Chan Koon Cheng and Jalan Chan Koon Cheng until Hotel Equatorial.
Food traders and souvenir sellers at Medan Samudera have complained about the Vehicle-Free Zone and asked the state government to review the initiative, including shortening the road-closure hours to just Saturdays as was done previously. — Bernama