Heading into Malaysia via the Woodlands or Tuas checkpoints? Prepare for a longer wait.
The traffic situation at the Woodlands Checkpoint on Dec 12, 2022 at about 6.05pm. (Image: checkpoints.sg app)
SINGAPORE: Travellers who headed into Johor Bahru via the Woodlands Checkpoint on Monday (Dec 12) had to contend with heavy traffic on the Causeway and long wait times.
In a Facebook post at 7.50am, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that there was heavy departure traffic at Woodlands Checkpoint due to a tailback from Malaysia.
“Delays are expected and travellers are advised to check traffic conditions before embarking on their journey,” said ICA, reminding motorists to maintain lane discipline and to cooperate with officers on site.
The authority said in a subsequent update at 7pm, about 11 hours after its initial post, that the tailback had subsided. Its Facebook post from Monday morning has since been removed.
In snapshots of the traffic situation at about 6pm, the checkpoints.sg mobile application showed long queues across all lanes, with an estimated wait time of 70 minutes to 105 minutes to enter Johor Bahru.
Data collected by the application showed that waiting times for travel in both directions were higher during peak periods this week compared to a week ago at both Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints.
Over the weekend, travel time from Singapore into Johor Bahru topped 100 minutes during the peak hours of Dec 10 at both land checkpoints. This eased slightly on Dec 11 while traffic from Malaysia back into Singapore was heavy in the later part of the day on Dec 12.
According to 8World news, waiting times on Friday lasted as long as four hours, with some resorting to walking through the customs areas instead.
In an advisory issued in November, ICA told travellers using the land checkpoints at Woodlands and Tuas to factor in additional time for immigration clearance and avoid peak hours, as travel was expected to pick up during the holiday period.
Both Malaysia and Singapore are currently having their year-end school holidays.
During the tabling of the 2023 Johor state budget earlier this month, Malaysian authorities announced several initiatives to ease congestion on the Causeway and at the Johor Bahru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex.
These initiatives included the restructuring of lanes for motorcycles and cars entering and exiting Johor. More electronic gates will also be installed to speed up the immigration process for Malaysians.
Johor chief minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi added that foreigners will soon be able to use e-gates for automated immigration processing.
With travel across both land checkpoints gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels, congestion and long queues have once again become a frequent sight.
In October this year, crowds of Causeway bus travellers from Singapore were seen at the Johor Bahru immigration building ahead of the Deepavali long weekend.
Footage shared on social media showed a crush of commuters jostling for space at the bus platform, with dozens standing shoulder to shoulder amid shouts and screams.
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Continued heavy traffic on Causeway into JB amid Singapore, Malaysia school holidays – CNA