Singapore — Unusually heavy traffic was reported at Tuas Checkpoint on Thursday morning, August 29.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority started issuing advisories to motorists regarding the build-up at 7:24 am, local time, via its Facebook page.
[29 Aug, 7.24am] Heavy arrival and departure traffic at Tuas checkpoint. Delays are expected. Travellers are advised to check One Motoring website before embarking on their journey.
Three minutes later, ICA pinpointed the cause of the traffic, which was a slowing down of its immigration clearance system.
[29 Aug, 7.45am] Heavy arrival and departure traffic at Tuas checkpoint due to intermittent slowness of our immigration clearance system. Delays are expected. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) regrets the inconvenience caused to travellers and seeks their understanding and patience. Please refer to ICA Facebook page for more official updates.
Later, ICA issued a statement that said the slowing down of the immigration clearance system had been due to a localised power trip, which happened at around 6:45 am, and affected the arrival and departure car zones of the checkpoint.
According to ICA, “The automated clearance system, as well as the clearance systems at the motorcycle and bus zones, were not affected.”
The clearance system at the affected lanes apparently ”progressively resumed” from 8:00 am onwards.
The ICA added that “More resources were immediately deployed to manage the situation, including having our officers who were on night shift remaining behind to assist in the clearance of travellers.
One of the departure car zones was also converted to clear arrival cars when the system progressively resumed.”
However, at 11:00, operations were suspended for a brief period of about 10 minutes in order to secure a vehicle that had failed to obtain departure immigration clearance in Malaysia.
ICA said to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), “We were alerted by the Malaysian authorities that a Malaysia-registered vehicle had evaded immigration clearance and was heading towards Singapore.
As a precaution, we have to lock down the checkpoint, locate and secure the vehicle to ascertain there is no security threat to Singapore.”
The driver of the vehicle was subsequently made to return to Malaysia.
Later in the morning, ICA announced a build-up of traffic at Woodlands Checkpoint as well, because of back flow from Malaysia.
It announced on a Facebook post “[29 Aug, 10.45am] Heavy departure traffic at Woodlands Checkpoint due to backflow of traffic from Malaysia. Delays are expected. Please check One Motoring website before embarking on your journey.”
But by 1:30 pm, systems had been restored at Tuas checkpoint, although the traffic continued to be heavy. ICA announced via Facebook, “[29 Aug, 1.30pm] Our system has resumed normalcy at Tuas Checkpoint. However, traffic remains heavy. Travellers are advised to check One Motoring website before embarking on their journey.” / TISG