In Peninsular Malaysia, to drive from the destination A to destination B they are 2 option for us one is the tolled road and another one is the old trunk road. In some instance, some will like to use the old trunk road to escape from the traffic congestion. The tolled road in our countries is the North-South Highway or PLUS that connect the north and south Peninsular Malaysia, the East-West Highway that connects the east and west Peninsular Malaysia. The north side of Malaysia is Perak, Penang, Penang Main Island, Kedah, and Perlis and for the South is Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor Bahru. In some situation, especially in the festival time, some of us will like to use the Old Karak Road that connects Gombak and Genting Sempah to avoid the traffic congestion in Karak Highway.
Before the PLUS highway was opened in 1994, how do we travel in Peninsular Malaysia? We will use the old Federal Route 1 that was built in 1880 and were completed in 1939. Yes, this road was built during the British era. This is the earliest federal road and the oldest federal road in Malaysia. The road also starts from Bukit Kayu Hitam and end in Johor Bahru like the PLUS Highway but it was longer as it stretched 826.6km compared to PLUS Highway where it was 772km. But they are some of us will like to use the old trunk road like the old Rawang- Ipoh road, old Segamat- Kuantan road, and much more. For those who want to travel to Kelantan using the Karak, unfortunately for them, they need to use the old trunk road Central Spine Kuala Lumpur – Gua Musang road as they are no tolled road yet for Kelantan.
Although they are the tolled road, some of us like to use the trunk road as they are no toll on this road. Even though to reach the destination is longer but some do not prefer to pay for the toll as the toll in unfixed and can be hiked at any time due to an agreement between the government and the toll concessionaire.
Another reason on why some of us liked to use the trunk road as even though the destination is longer compared to the tolled road as they are least traffic congestion on this road. The reason on why they are least traffic congestion on this road is that most of us will prefer to use the tolled road and not many will prefer to use the trunk road due to it takes a longer time to reach the destination and due to this they is least or no traffic congestion on this road. In some situation like the Karak Road had been dubbed as a haunted road many will try to avoid this road and prefer to use the tolled road.
The trunk road will provide a better scenic view if compared to the tolled road. The trunk road was built by cutting through the hills and forest but the result it will provide some of the best mother nature view in our road. Example the old road that connects Rawang – Ipoh via Serendah provides a classic nostalgic old-style scenery across the road that will not be provided by the tolled road where the drivers can see road and car with some hills view but not the old building like the trunk road.
Even though the old trunk road provides no expenditure, scenic view, and least traffic jam but in term of accommodation, the tolled road is still the winner in this case. For example, they are many stops for fuel, having a meal, restroom, and place to rest. To refuel, they are many petrol outlets in the tolled road like Petronas, Shell, Caltex, Petron, and BHP. For someone who needs urgently for the restroom, they are many restrooms across the stop in the tolled road. A place to having a meal, they are an overhead restaurant in Sungai Buloh stops, a restaurant in Tapah, popcorn, peanuts and much more.
The tolled road user also can reach the destination faster than old trunk road. If someone uses the tolled road to Ipoh it will roughly take 1 and a half hour after touching the Perak border if the driver is coming from Selangor where if the driver using the old trunk road it will roughly take more than 2 hours.
The tolled had a bigger lane and has a wider road if compared to the small road in trunk road. If the user of trunk road has a trunk or lorry in front of them, then they need to follow the lorry in front who will drive in snail pace and a chance to pass through the lorry are less if they are a car coming from the opposite side. On the tolled road, if the drivers had encountered the same situation or meet with any slow drivers in the front, they can always use the signal and moved to left and right of the lane to cut off the car in front.
The old trunk road although is least congested but the road is all crooked if compare to the straight tolled road. The design of the old trunk road is being more accident prone than the tolled road. Example, in Old Karak Road they are many accidents that had happened hence giving the road the haunted reputation. Adding fuel to fire, the crooked road does not have a flood light installed and this makes it more dangerous to the drivers if compared to the tolled road. Although in some section of the tolled road they are no flood light installed the design of the road is far safer than the crooked trunk road.
The trunk road and the tolled road is one of the 2 options that is available to travel within Peninsular Malaysia. Whether old Federal Route 1 and the PLUS Highway they are some pros and cons but the tolled road outweighs the pros of the trunk road but in the end, it is still the driver choice on which road to use. For me, I will prefer to use the trunk road when going and while coming bank using the tolled road but another user may a different opinion on this. Whatever the road that had been used to reach the destination the most important thing is to drive safely.