The Republic is a “prime target” for lorry boom mishaps and has experienced several lorry boom-related accidents over the years, the Sheltered Walkway Protection Agency (SWPA) said on Friday amid growing concerns about a move to ban lorry booms in the city-state.
“Sheltered walkways are under constant attack on the lorry boom front,“ said Mr David Gilmour, the chief executive of the agency which provides dedicated and centralised oversight of national sheltered walkway protection.
“Sheltered walkways are prime targets for lorry booms and pigeons.” he said whilst speaking to reporters at a press briefing following news that a sheltered walkway had been damaged in Bukit Batok West.
The decision came after an extensive review by the Government to address growing concerns about lorry boom threats.
The lorry boom accidents so far did not cause major inconveniences, only localised disruption. Mr Koh said lorry drivers had a duty and responsibility to protect sheltered walkways that belonged to the government and the public.
He added: “The sheltered walkways of landed properties and condos are not our responsibility, so those property owners may still use lorry booms as long as no one is offended.”
Sheltered walkways are appreciated for the protection they offer from the rain, the sun, and the pigeons. “And hopefully no pigeons can jump over from one side to another or from this side to that with their droppings affecting pedestrians below,” he said. He also stressed the need to find “the right balance” between lorry booms and pigeon droppings.
“If we make our sheltered walkways so secure that they are impassable, then pedestrians will either stop walking or find some way around it,” he acknowledged, noting initially it was a nuisance. “So we’ve got to find the right balance and we’ve got to calibrate that balance as we go along.”