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Top Transport Chief Prasert Janrungtong sees Phuket's traffic up close

Phuket's Complicated, Says Governor With Traffic Jams in Focus

Friday, June 14, 2013
LIVE News Update: Phuket 'Complicated'

PHUKET: Phuket was a small island with complicated problems, Governor Maitree Intrusud told a meeting of people interested in property today.

He told the seminar by the Phuket Real Estate Association that this posed a challenge.

''Phuket needs connecting activities, including transport on land and sea,'' he said. ''Phuket airport is very busy.

''We really don't have a low season, just a green season. At this time of the year, there are still 25,000 to 26,000 passengers a day.''

The governor opened the seminar then had to leave for ''a very important meeting'' at Mai Khao with the European Union ministers.

''We aim to work closely with the private sector,'' he said.

The Permanent Secretary of Thailand's Transport Ministry, Prasert Janrungtong, told the gathering at the Merling Hotel in Phuket City that he had an interesting experience.

''I was taken for a drive around Phuket and discovered that it's true, Phuket has a huge traffic issue,'' he said.

''It's likely to grow worse and worse as more tourists come and the average registration of new cars on Phuket is now 1500 each month.''

Attempts were being made to reduce accidents, he said. ''Eighty percent of movements are by road around Thailand,'' he said.

''In the next five years we hope to increase the number travelling by sea from 12 percent up to 19 percent. On Phuket, we worry about the growing numbers living here and working here.

''The number keeps growing, whether the people are tourists or residents. Everything is increasing - but possibly at the cost of happiness.

''Pollution is another factor, and we have to try to prevent that.'' Phuket still has people who come back two or three times for visits, he said.

Property people would prefer to have the roads fixed rather than attempt to move people around Phuket on the water, judging from the mood of the meeting.

The meeting is continuing.

Comments

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Wouldn't a better public transport improve traffic situation as well? Wouldn't getting rid of hundreds of illegal taxis improve the traffic situation? How about a light rail train, frequent buses and weight limits for trucks and heavy transports? Adequate docks would be a nice support as well. There is so much money on this island to easily fix this problems in no time, are the greedy pockets not filled yet?

Posted by Jakub on June 14, 2013 15:59

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Exactly spot on Jakub, but stating the obvious to the people in charge and their underlings is a waste of time and effort Jakub ,they are why were in this mess because of this village headman mentality where they are not willing to accept a modern inexpensive integrated transport plan even when offered by the governments honest honourable island transport expert,his plan was dropped for the totally over the top billion baht plus tunnel plan of patongs Mayor even when his town is submerged in filthy brown water and under threat of even more landslides yet again and the hill road is left to fall down the hill even after it worked for years without failing so why is it failing so often now .

Posted by Scunner on June 14, 2013 21:06

Editor Comment:

The problem is, Scunner, that each of those projects has separate budgets. The tunnel project is independent of any integrated transport plan and a solution for the Patong floods has no relation to the transport issues. Different budgets. It would be the same in most countries.

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More roads or other facilities will never solve road congestion in Phuket. The only thing that would bring an immediate relief would be to enforce traffic laws strictly, remove all businesses occupying public roads and remove all cars that park illegally. In future planning no permission should be given to open a business in areas where there is no parking facility, just look at the at Koh Kaew U-Turn, there is a small market , supermarket, 7-11 and other shops directly at the U turn and people happily parks there and obstructs traffic ... there are numerous examples, solve them and there will be instant improvements ... another thing is the poor timing between traffic lights, there should be a green wave so that if drive at the allowed speed between green lights then you should not meet a red light at the next traffic light ... this will make the traffic flow better as well and save a lot of fuel and thus be good for the environment as well.
Having vehicles at the road that can not follow the normal speed is a hazard and slows traffic therefore illegal vehicles such as salengs should not be allowed on public roads, they slow the traffic, are a general hazard and are a possible cause for accidents and hold up the traffic. Stricter enforcement of the keep left rule as too many drivers just position themselves in the overtaking lane regardless of their speed.... there are so many things that can be addressed and the best thing is that it is free, the Police is there they just have to do their job. When all these things are working well then more investment could be made in infrastructure if necessary , investing without solving the basic problems first is ... a waste of tax payers monies ;-)

Posted by Sailor on June 15, 2013 08:17

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Sailor, why dont we just tell the Thai that we are taking over and they have to move? this is Thailand and they are still developing, unless you want to pay for them to move up into a nice car.

Posted by Tim on June 15, 2013 20:40

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The Permanent Secretary of Thailand's Transport Ministry, Prasert Janrungtong, told the gathering at the Merling Hotel in Phuket City that he had an interesting experience.
''I was taken for a drive around Phuket and discovered that it's true, Phuket has a huge traffic issue,'' he said.

The secretary of transport has taken one chaffeur drive only on the island he then noticed there are transport issues (id say there be a file 15 foot high on his desk)& what a revelation to him it was true,he then recounted this interesting experience at a 5 star resort to the people who have sat in there armchairs for decades and done nothing over a long sumptious lunch and drinks to discuss the plight of the transport system ,its going to be a long time before Patong Karon & kata even see a bumper bar of a public transport bus roll into town with these supreme efforts.

Posted by slickmelb on June 23, 2013 00:44

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Tim, no i am just presenting a suggestion that will help solve the traffic problems in Phuket, but I am fully aware that what you stand for is more in line with the local tradition and what is likely to happen : Absolutely nothing.

Posted by Sailor on June 23, 2013 10:24


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