Melaka extends vehicle-free zone initiative to three days a week

MELAKA: Extended closure of the state’s busiest streets will continue for another month to test the effectiveness of its vehicle-free zone initiative, says a state executive councillor.

State housing and local government, climate change and disaster management committee chairman Datuk Rais Yasin said the move to extend the road closure between 6pm to midnight from Fridays to Sundays is to get feedback.

“We have received mixed reactions to the car-free zone, which was previously only on Saturdays. The response from tourists was very positive while there were also strong objections from traders who complained that their revenues had dwindled since the initiative was implemented in August,” he said after handing over certificates of appreciation to corporate companies, non-governmental organisations and media for their support of Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council at a hotel in Ayer Keroh on Friday (Dec 22).

Rais said the feedback was crucial for the Melaka Historical City Council to outline an assessment of the impact of car-free zones on businesses, air pollution and tourism activities.

“The opinions from all those affected will be considered before a decision is made on the car-free zone,” he said.

Rais said the car-free initiative earned the city council the Asean Clean Tourist City Standard Award (2024-2026). It will be presented in Vientiane, Laos, on Jan 26, next year.

The trail run on the weekend road closures began on Friday (Dec 22). It involved Jalan Istana, Jalan Mahkamah, Jalan Gereja, Lorong Gereja, Jalan Laksamana, as well as parts of Jalan Tun Khalil Yaakob and Jalan Merdeka.

The streets will be closed for six hours during weekends.