PLUS has issued a 2022 Balik Kampung and Pulang Ke Bandar Travel Time Advisory (TTA) schedule in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive season, which is just around the corner now. The TTA is for North-South Highway users from April 29 till May 9, the peak travel period.

The purpose of the TTA is to distribute traffic and circumvent convergence of traffic entering the highway at the same time on major highway stretches, toll plazas and rest areas, thus reducing congestion. It was designed based on previous festive season and long weekend travelling patterns. This Raya will be big, and PLUS is expecting two million vehicles a day on the NSE over the Raya period.

“As this is the first time after two years of the movement control order that we Malaysians are allowed to travel back to our loved ones to celebrate Raya Aidilfitri, we anticipate about two million vehicles, which is a 25% increase compared to the current daily 1.6 million vehicles plying on our highway. Therefore, please expect congestion and possibly prolonged duration of your travel time. We strongly urge and advise highway customers to adhere the TTA schedule during balik kampung and pulang ke bandar journeys,” said PLUS COO Datuk Zakaria Ahmad Zabidi.

Here’s the TTA. For the balik kampung journey out of the Klang Valley (April 29 to May 2), those heading towards further destinations such as Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak (north) and Johor, are advised to enter the highway before 10am. Meanwhile, those heading towards closer locations or to other states are advised to enter the highway after 1pm – have your lunch first.

For the return journey to the Klang Valley (May 5-9), those from Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak (north), Johor and other states are advised to enter the highway before 9am. “Based on our studies, for the return journey to Klang Valley, highway customers can expect a longer travel time on the highway if they choose not to adhere to the TTA schedule,” Zakaria said.

“Based on festive season traffic travelling pattern simulation, highway customers from the north to Klang Valley may experience an extended travel time of up to 10 hours, or twice as long as the average travel time, if they enter the highway after 9am. Meanwhile, the travel time from the south to Klang Valley could reach up to seven hours or twice as long if they enter the highway after 9am,” he added.

On its part, PLUS will be placing 1,500 customer service assistants at the highway’s 1,100 toll lanes to assist with problems, such as with payment. The company is also deploying a “HQ Reserve Team” at strategic locations and use RELA officers to assist in managing traffic. On our part, motorists must remember to use the same payment mode lane as the one you used when coming in – RFID in RFID out.

Earlier, PLUS said that it will be setting up contraflow lanes and boosting the number of PLUSRonda patrol teams throughout the peak period. Vehicles that break down or are involved in accidents are a major cause of congestion, and PLUS’ plan is to remove such vehicles as soon as possible – the company will place tow trucks and cranes at critical locations to expedite the process of removing stranded vehicles, especially at climbing areas. Heavy, slow lorries have been banned during the festive period.

The NSE concessionaire advises highway customers to obey traffic rules, drive prudently and ensure that vehicles are in good condition. In addition to the TTA, use the PLUS app, Waze or Google Maps for better journey planning. And before you give in to temptation to “save time” and break the laws, remember that JPJ has an army of mata-mata armed with phone cameras.