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Phuket Governor Tri with Deputy Head of Mission, Steven Chandler

Governor Tips Action on Tuk-Tuks, Taxis, Tunnel

Monday, February 13, 2012
PHUKET: A senior Patong police officer said today that action is expected this month to fix Phuket's illegal taxi problem as Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha confirmed that ''major changes are likely on Phuket within four to five months.''

An orchestrated push to clean up Phuket's scams and chronic transport disorder appears to be on the way.

Bangkok's surging interest in Phuket comes with Governor Tri today assuring the media that environmental approval has already been given for Phuket's exhinbition and conference centre.

He confirmed that the national government Cabinet will meet on Phuket in March, and that the Patong Tunnel is likely to be approved at that meeting.

A series of revelations that point towards Bangkok recognising at long last that Phuket really matters came today as Governor Tri met with the British Bangkok Embassy's Deputy Head of Mission, Steven Chandler.

Phuketwan was told earlier today by the Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, Colonel Arayapan Pukbuakao, that intervention by the Interior Ministry to rid Phuket of illegal taxis is expected before the end of February.

The Interior Ministry has already ordered bars and night venues across Phuket to close on time at 2am and a major push to clean up Phuket appears to be coming into full swing.

Governor Tri even said that ''a new system'' was on the way for Phuket's tuk-tuks at a ''fair fare.'' He said that under the new system, tourists would be able to travel around Patong at 50 baht per person.

No further details were given. The Governor's revelations about what might happen in the next few weeks on Phuket downplayed to a degree Mr Chandler's mission to introduce himself and gain some basic information about tourism safety.

Governor Tri said today that the Environment and Natural Resources Department had approved a favorable environmental impact assessment that the Phuket exhibition and conference centre could go ahead at the preferred site in Mai Khao.

His later revelation that the Patong Tunnel is also likely to be approved only leaves a proper public transport system for Phuket to be achieved among the ''big three'' infrastructure projects that Phuket is thought to need.

Comments

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I'll believe it when I see action and "fair fare" pricing. Other then that "Cry Wolf" again.

Posted by john s on February 13, 2012 16:19

Editor Comment:

I don't know why you and others keep saying ''I'll believe it when I see it.'' Why not try for something constructive? A fresh idea? Ever have one?

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"He said that under the new system, tourists would be able to travel around Patong at 50 baht per person."
and how much for locals??

Posted by another steve on February 13, 2012 17:19

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Editor Comment:

I don't know why you and others keep saying ''I'll believe it when I see it.'' Why not try for something constructive? A fresh idea? Ever have one?

Probably because we have seen so much lip service here in the past with nothing coming out of it.

On another note... I still would like to know what plans are being made to deal the barrage of traffic that will be coming from Kathu into Patong from this tunnel...There are absolutely to roads that could possible accomodate it..let alone parking etc...I really believe this tunnel is going to lead to a lot more problems in Patong.

Posted by sky on February 13, 2012 17:19

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I would rather ride in a black taxi (proper car) than a tuk-tuk any day. Get rid of the tuk-tuks and provide songtaews for travel within the villages and real taxis to get to elsewhere. As for the tunnel I would hate to be stuck in it due to accident, vehicle fire, songkran or whatever. Just build a decent road. If you can't build a decent road you sure as hell can't build a decent tunnel.

Posted by Lume on February 13, 2012 17:25

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one understands the skeptism as the corruption is very entrenched but if he does it and it won't be a easy road a monument should be built in his honor.

Posted by traveller on February 13, 2012 18:34

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@Ed... the reason being is that each time the lips move it's just more of the same - Lip Service. When the Gov or indeed any of authorities here in Phuket actually manage to achieve something then maybe people will start to change their views.

Sure the ideas are great, like the 100% Helmet use which hasn't happened, or the removal of the JetSki scams, the parking problems in Patong... the list goes on.

Affirmative action is what's needed. The Gov and all the authorities just need to implement something that WILL work and is sustainable.

Posted by Graham on February 13, 2012 19:39

Editor Comment:

If you live in a world where nothing is ever going to change, Graham, the likelihood is nothing will change . . . unless you do something. What i find strange is the number of people who wish for change, but who say it's never going to happen. If everybody thought that way . . . who is ever going to bring about change? The answer: somebody else.

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its crazy, if tuks were 50 baht a person and friendly they would be busy all day everyone would use them. instead they would rather wait around all day for one fare and get 400 baht..

Posted by poppops on February 13, 2012 20:07

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50 baht per person around Patong? So, if there are four people in a tuk tuk they would have to pay 200 baht to go from, say, Jungceylon to the beach? This is supposed to be some sort of "improvement"?

Ok....Well it's not, it's still insanely overpriced.

Posted by christian on February 13, 2012 20:17

Editor Comment:

Yes, and one hopes that's not the plan. Otherwise, it's not a plan.

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To make this mess go away I suspect they are going to just issue all the illegal taxi's licences without any stringent western style checks[insurance police checks vehicle inspection]a nice non confrontational way to clear the nasty nasty long running problem. When the deputy Ed tells John s to have a fresh idea, we've been waiting for 10 years for the powers that be on this island who funnily enough have been in positions of power for just shy of 10 years to have a decent fresh idea and to implement it rather than the normal appeasement negotiation attitude that has been taken with these illegal groups, who have been giving the impression by this tactic that they are running the show on this island and not the government. I do hope that this time BK will send several strong incorruptible people down here to make sure these central government plans get forced through rather than allowing the shocking tactics of blockades, beatings , stabbings and intimidation where they the crooks lay down the rules and if any threat of change is brought against them they will use all of the above tactics to gain the whip hand. I wish the PM good luck in getting these plans through for the country the Thai people and tourist trades sakes on this island because this once great island is being [ has been] turned into a low end sleaze hole only fit for cheap passing trade from eastern Europe and the sub continent, a sad end for a once great high end destination.

Posted by Scunner on February 13, 2012 20:51

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"this once great island is being [ has been] turned into a low end sleaze hole only fit for cheap passing trade from eastern Europe and the sub continent, a sad end for a once great high end destination."

Strange comment. I doubt the budget travelers from those areas think the "low end sleazy" aspects of Phuket is any better a fit for them than for anyone else. When thinking low end and sleazy, Bangla Rd comes to mind. Who are the customers the sleazy bars on Bangla and elsewhere are targeting....certainly not the budget travelers from India, the mid-East or China. Mostly seems to be the supposedly higher class travelers from western Europe and Australia who are keeping those places alive. ....or are you trying to say the presence of the budget tourists make it a low end sleazy destination? I certainly hope that's not what you are suggesting.

Posted by Rs on February 13, 2012 22:16

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I can forsee that there will often be traffic jams running the complete length of the tunnel, just as now traffic is sometimes backed up all the way over the hill.
I still think a better solution would be to develop other routes into Patong. It would be a lot cheaper and would spread the traffic flow around better. Obvious ones would be extending the road from Kathu waterfall over the hill to Kamala (near Fantasea). Another would be completing the road that passes the temple near Phunaka over the hill to south end of Patong. The argument against these has been that they can't get environmental approval. Strange that it seems OK to line the hills with grotesque stretches of concrete condos to benefit a few developers but not OK to build roads that would benefit everyone.

Posted by Rs on February 13, 2012 22:26

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Please tell us honestly that the Governor is not doing a George Bush. . . "Read my lips", speech? We hear so much lip service and no action, please lets see some good come of this, for all of us here on this island.All inhabitants are just wanting some action, not strets paved with gold. Hang, I have a solution, but hey I am only a guest here right?

Posted by Dun on February 14, 2012 02:08

Editor Comment:

Perhaps you should go back and read our files, Dun, and not bother so much about lips. Last year, the Interior Ministry became heavily involved in structuring new committees to look at Phuket's problems. The arrangement was that local authorities would see whether they could solve the problems, and if they couldn't, the problems would be ''handed'' to Bangkok to resolve. That's what happened with many problems. That's why Phuketwan has been saying that 2012 will be a make-or-break year. People who prefer to say the same thing over and over again apparently struggle to absorb new information.

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"If you live in a world where nothing is ever going to change, Graham, the likelihood is nothing will change . . . unless you do something. What i find strange is the number of people who wish for change, but who say it's never going to happen. If everybody thought that way . . ."

I did something. I left !! Best choice I made in years.

Seems pretty much all of my long term expat mates have done the same. The new arrivals can come and face those problems and wear themselves out trying.

Posted by LivinLOS on February 14, 2012 09:12

Editor Comment:

Trying what, LivinLOS?

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I wish what was said would become reality but looking at the track record of local authorities promising remedy to these seemingly eternal problems, I'm not holding my breath.

In my 8y here it seems to me that any action interfering with locals' ability to fleece, cheat, abuse or downright assault tourists and expats alike is doomed to fail.

I'd love to see my cynical views proven wrong.

Posted by Steve C. on February 14, 2012 12:11

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@Ed
I fully agree with you. But to effect change requires proactive people with a vision to move forward. Something seriously lacking in Thailand. When the Thais finally get past the greed, corruption and the me, me, me attitude then there's a greater chance of change. Until that time, it will remain what it is... lip service.

Posted by Graham on February 14, 2012 12:36

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Hi Ed, I did go back and reread most of the previous files. What I read was about how this committee has appointed to do this and that. Then another committee has been appointed to check up on the original committee. Then a new committee has been set up to check up and advise the two previous committees. Bang! A new governor then gets appointed, so he has to appoint a new committee to oversea the past committees. Now do you see a pattern of lip service emerging? If you don't I am sure the readers of this fine news outlet do? Oh and do set up a new committee to oversea the Bangkok Interior Ministry's committee.

Posted by Dun on February 14, 2012 12:58

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Spot on Dun the deputy Ed's thinking up a reply, I'll check back in a couple of days for his comment or lack of.

Posted by Scunner on February 15, 2012 20:28

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Footnote to LivinLOS which made me laugh. I work in Nigeria & LOS is the abbreviation for Lagos International Airport. I cannot believe 'Livin' in Lagos would be better than Phuket!

Sorry! Just tryin to have a bit of light hearted fun. lol

Posted by Logic on March 2, 2012 22:26


Monday July 13, 2020
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