December 16, 2014
The Minister of Communication yesterday launched the “White Paper” for land transport which will pave the way for reduction of Bruneian’s dependency on cars, prevention of traffic jams, achieving sustainable society, and strengthening governance.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said the “white paper” sets out a series ofpolicies under seven strategic themes which will provide the basis for the development of specific national transport policies and the foundation for the Land Transport Master Plan.
As the launch of the “white paper” pushes forward the implementation of the Land Transport Master Plan, the minister emphasised several benefits its implementation would offer to the people of Brunei.
“The implementation of the Land Transport Master Plan would offer more employment opportunities, increased efficiency in the movement of people, goods and services both in the country and regionally, and help achieve social sustainability with specific emphasis on reducing road traffic injuries and fatalities,” said the minister.
In line with Brunei’s Vision 2035 and the Ministry of Communication’s vision of a Smart Society and Excellence in Communication by 2017, the “white paper” provides the basis for the development of specific national transport policies and had outlined four core strategies; Reducing Car Dependency, Keeping Traffic Moving, Achieving Sustainable Society, and Strengthening Governance.
“This White Paper is an insightful document that covers wide and extensive aspects of land transport policies, strategies and initiatives for achieving our set vision as well as prescribing steps towards improving the land transport system in Brunei Darussalam holistically using technology as an enabler,” said the minister during the opening ceremony of the two-day National Road Safety Seminar and Launching of the Land Transport White Paper at the ministry yesterday.
The seven strategic themes mentioned in the “white paper” are: Supporting Economic Growth Through Essential Infrastructure, Promoting Public Transport, Tackling Car Dependency and Congestion, Social Sustainability – Safety, Health and Social Inclusion, Safeguarding Brunei’s Environment and Conserving Energy, Effective Regional and International Connections, and Strengthening Planning and Delivery.
The minister added that during the previous National Forum on sustainable Land Transport Master Plan, a key point highlighted was the issue of road congestion in Brunei brought about by several factors.
He explained that Brunei’s current car ownership ratio has an annual average growth rate of nine per cent, compared to the length of the Brunei’s roads, which had increased by only 44km from 2012 to 2013, “without change the country could face severe road congestion problems”.
Brunei also has a high dependency on private vehicles, partly due to the fact that there are only 105 public buses, 465 school buses and 45 taxis which are inadequate to provide an alternative mode of transport in the country, according to the minister.
The white paper was produced by the Ministry of Communication in collaboration with the Ministry of Development and the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS), and, according to the Ministry of Communications, the general public can download it from the CSPS website; http://www.csps.org.bn/.