Overcrowded Singapore has missed a golden opportunity to solve its traffic problems with its ban on new cars and motorcycles unless it is to replace an existing vehicle.
The problem with Singapore’s crowded streets and lack of parking is not motorcycles, but cars.
And many of them are massive luxury cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis that are so wide, it’s difficult to lane split between them.
In fact, Singapore has more Maseratis, Ferraris and Lamborghinis per capita than anywhere else in the world.
It’s already the most expensive place in the world to own a car, so clearly banning the import of new luxury cars won’t stop the super-rich.
They’ll just buy an old car, trash it and replace it with their supercar.
Instead, Singapore needs to embrace the use of motorcycles to navigate its streets.
I visited Singapore again earlier this year for the launch of the Harley-Davidson Street Rod and found it was an easy place to ride around.
There are few motorcycles on its streets compared with other Asian cities, so you can slip through the traffic easily.
Instead of banning new motorbikes, they should encourage their use as it would alleviate their traffic problems.
We all know the oft-quoted statistics from the Belgian Transport & Mobility Leuven traffic congestion study. It found that if 10% of all private cars were replaced by motorcycles time losses for all vehicles would drop 40%. If 25% switched to two-wheelrs, traffic congestion would not exist.
Public transport option
The Singapore move begins next year and will be complemented by an expansion of their public transport system including their metro which has suffered a series of breakdowns and delays.
Public transport is not the solution that greenies suggest.
It is expensive, unreliable and will never get a person precisely from their home to their destination.