Road transport in Singapore


The earliest roads in modern Singapore after its founding in 1819 were laid out in an orderly manner as detailed in the Jackson Plan of 1822, in keeping with Sir Stamford Raffles's directions. A grid system was adopted for the town area, with roads for carriages convert|16|yd wide, and those for horses at four yards. Pedestrian paths along the roadsides were two yards wide, allowing room for two to walk abreast and giving rise to the five-foot ways that came to be associated with the sheltered walkways along roadside shophouses.

These roads were fairly advanced for the time, with Macadam surfacing used on High Street, Singapore, in 1821, for instance. Roads were also constructed in the rest of the island, although they were usually unsurfaced. By 1842, Changi Point in the eastern tip was accessible via an extension of Geylang Road, while Pasir Panjang Road reached Jurong River in the west. The Bukit Timah Road was also extended to Kranji in the north by 1845, in proximity to where the Johor-Singapore Causeway was built almost 80 years later, in 1924. Still, only about 340 kilometres of road were built in the century after 1820, compared to more than 2,000 kilometres in the four decades after 1965.

As was the case in other urban areas of the time, the earliest modes of road transport were via ponies, and then horse-drawn carriages. Batak ponies from the Sultanate of Deli in Sumatra were introduced into Malaya in the Dutch era. They were often called "palonguins" or, later, "gharries"; they proved too small for the larger carriages introduced later by the Europeans. Driven as fashion statements for the social elite, the carriages would be paraded by the Europeans around the Padang; soon they were joined by their affluent Chinese and Arabic counterparts. So important were these parades in the networking opportunities they provided that merchants were known to voluntarily pay to build the public roads or to speed up road construction. Collyer Quay, for example, was constructed purely by private funding.

The most well-to-do would typically own their carriages and horses, often employing native Indian servants (popularly known as "Syces") to maintain them. Carriages for hire soon became available as well, with hackneys and "gharries" being the earliest forms of taxis in Singapore. Another early use of pony-drawn carriages was that of the Singapore Fire Brigade, the predecessor of today's Singapore Civil Defence Force.

See also

* List of bridges in Singapore
* List of expressways in Singapore
* Motoring in Singapore
* Transport in Singapore


*Ilsa Sharp, (2005), SNP:Editions, "The Journey - Singapore's Land Transport Story". ISBN 981-248-101-X

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Transport in Singapore — Transportation within Singapore is mainly land based. Almost all parts of Singapore are accessible by road, including islands such as Sentosa and Jurong Island. The other major form of transportation within Singapore is rail: the Mass Rapid… …   Wikipedia

  • Bus transport in Singapore — is the most comprehensive and affordable means of public transport for the masses, with over two million rides taken per day on average on the buses of the two main public transport providers SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation. There are more than… …   Wikipedia

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (India) — Republic of India Part of the series Politics and Government of India …   Wikipedia

  • Transport economics — is a branch of economics that deals with the allocation of resources within the transport sector and has strong linkages with civil engineering. Transport economics differs from some other branches of economics in that the assumption of a… …   Wikipedia

  • Singapore — This article is about the city state. For other uses, see Singapore (disambiguation). Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Singapore Changi Airport — Changi Airport redirects here. For Changi Air Base (West) RAF Changi, see Changi Air Base. Singapore Changi Airport Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Changi Singapura 新加坡樟宜机场 (Xīnjiāpō Zhāngyí Jīchǎng) சிங்கப்பூர் சாங்கி வானூர்தி நிலையம் …   Wikipedia

  • Transport in India — The Mumbai Pune Expressway, India s first expressway …   Wikipedia

  • Singapore Civil Defence Force — The Singapore Civil Defence Force (abbreviation: SCDF; Chinese: 新加坡民防部队; Malay: Pasukan Pertahanan Awam Singapura) is the main agency in charge of the provision of emergency services in Singapore during peacetime and emergency.A uniformed… …   Wikipedia

  • Transport in Indonesia — Indonesia s transport system has been shaped over time by the economic resource base of an archipelago with thousands of islands, and the distribution of its more than 200 million people highly concentrated on a single island which is Java… …   Wikipedia

  • Transport in Hong Kong — Hong Kong has a highly developed and sophisticated transportation network, encompassing both public and private transport. Over 90% of the daily journeys are on public transport, making it the highest in the world. [Lam, William H.K. [2003]… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.