The 4-day holiday has resulted in chronic traffic jam in Cameron Highlands. From morning till night, tourists flock to the famous tourist attraction by cars from Ringlet to Blue Valley, making Cameron Highlands’s traffic completely paralysed. A short distance of 2 to 3km would require 3 to 4 hours to reach the destination.
In order to solve traffic woes in Cameron Highlands, it is imperative to find the crux of the problem. Cameron Highlands is a popular hill resort and tourist attraction in Malaysia, but is also recently being troubled by heavy traffic jams due to the three main reasons:
Although many parties have given suggestions such as increase of parking lots, lane widening, taking actions against vendors and car owners who go against the law, reviewing the town planning for businesses as well as building outer ring road, traffic woe in Cameron Highlands is actually a mix of many problems. Choosing any of the abovementioned options instead of implementing comprehensive solutions together can never resolve the matter once and for all. Not only that the problem cannot be fixed, public discontent may also arise, as evident by the one-way traffic rule in Brinchang.
Traffic jam in Cameron Highlands can be classified into two categories based on its severity: Partial traffic jam in Kea Farm, Brinchang and Tanah Rata during normal weekends, as well as complete traffic congestion during school holidays and long weekends. In order to resolve the matter for good and all, the local government must start studying public transport policy, enforce traffic laws and restrict the influx of vehicles during holidays.
Restricting influx if vehicles into tourist attractions is a common traffic control measure in many countries. Many tourist attractions in China have started to implement traffic categories classification and feeder service to lead tourists’ vehicles to their connected parking spots. This will help control the traffic that was chaotic, greatly reduce the disturbance to local residents, protect the natural tourist attractions and ultimately provide satisfying user experience to tourists.
Cameron Highlands District Council can utilise the entrances at Blue Valley and Ringlet, and can even cooperate with the Perak state government to build parking lots at Tapah and Simpang Pulai which are at foothills in order to implement vehicle restrictions and provide feeder services such as providing small buses that bring tourists to Cameron Highlands.
Vehicle Restrictions might temporarily affect the tourist sector, but leaving the traffic problem unresolved will only further increase public discontent and tarnish the image of Cameron Highlands as a popular tourist attraction.
Cameron Highlands is, after all, different from other tourist attractions as there are a lot of local residents living in the area. We should not sit back and only hastily look for solutions when an untoward incident happens such as delayed emergency assistance happens due to traffic woes.
We have to look at the traffic woes in Cameron Highlands in a rational and objective way. As the local State Assemblyman, I promise to be the “bridge” between the Federal Government and the State Government, and will work proactively with every relevant agency in order to look for a better and more comprehensive traffic solution that will ultimately resolve the matter of traffic woes in Cameron Highlands once and for all.