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LTA frees up land meant for Singapore Underground Road System

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LAND which was previously safeguarded for the Singapore Underground Road System (SURS) will be de-safeguarded with effect from Tuesday, the Land Transport Authroity (LTA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority said.

This is because as Singapore shifts towards a car-lite society, the SURS is no longer needed, giving previously affected land owners greater flexibility in their development plans.

The SURS was conceptualised in the late 1980s as a 15 kilometre-long underground arterial ring road system around the fringe of the city, to cater to potential traffic growth into and out of the city centre. Land along the SURS alignment was safeguarded in 1993.

"Enhancements to our public transport network and changes in land use policies have removed the need for SURS,'' LTA and URA said in a joint release.

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They noted that the city centre is well-served by a comprehensive public transport network and the full opening of the Downtown Line in October will further improve public transport connectivity, especially for commuters travelling from the north-western and eastern regions of the island to the Central Business District (CBD) and Marina Bay areas.

When completed in 2024, the Thomson-East Coast Line will connect commuters in the northern and eastern parts of Singapore to the heart of the city, while Circle Line Stage 6 will close the loop for the Circle Line by around 2025. By 2030, Singapore's rail network will be 360km long, and more than 90 per cent of developments in the CBD will be within a five-minute walk to an MRT station.

They also said the government has also been growing more commercial centres in different regions outside the city, bringing employment and amenities closer to homes, and reducing the need for travel into and out of the city centre.