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Buses and trucks will be banned from going up Patong Hill from Phuket City

Phuket Crashes Lead to One-Way System That Bans Incoming Trucks and Buses from Ascending Patong Hill

Thursday, January 9, 2014
PHUKET: A one-way system for trucks and buses on Phuket's Patong Hill will ban all heavy vehicles from going to Patong via the hill road, a meeting decided today.

The system, with buses and trucks obliged to go to Patong from the Phuket city side via Karon Hill or the coast road through Kamala, is expected to be in place ''within a couple of weeks.''

Authorities say they recognise that the one-way system for large vehicles will prevent crashes on Patong Hill but generate traffic problems around Chalong Circle and the Heroines Monument.

Drivers caught at Tungthong Checkpoint with alcohol or drugs in their system will face a 40,000 baht fine from now on, the meeting was told.

Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada chaired today's meeting at the Phuket Land Transport Offices in Phuket City. Governor Maitree Intrusud joined for a time but left before the meeting was over.

All truck and bus companies are to be informed about today's decision, which follows a fatal bus crash in Patong in which two people were killed during the 'Seven Days of Danger.' A number of other buses have crashed on the hill over the years, causing fatalities and serious injuries.

It was agreed that buses and trucks coming onto Phuket will be stopped at the Tachatchai checkpoint and told of the rule change once it is in place.

While authorities believe the rule will prevent crashes both on the hill approach - where some drivers have been unable to cope going up - and on the down slope to Patong, it was recognised that traffic at the Heroines Monument and at Chalong Circle will become worse as a result.

Two alternative suggestions were rejected. They were: stopping all large buses at the base of Patong Hill and transferring them to minivans and stopping buses from going over the hill between 6-9am and 4-7pm.

Motorcycle only lanes are to be delineated more clearly going over Patong Hill using yellow lines. In danger spots, the surface will be roughened to improve traction. Traffic flow will be improved with the roadway set to widen at the t-junction at the base of Patong Hill in Patong.

Efforts will be made to limit the age of large vehicles that traverse Patong Hill.

At an earlier meeting, Governor Maitree revealed there were 621 buses operating on Phuket with 1699 minivans. More than 50 percent are from other provinces.

Governor Maitree said he once counted 50 minivans passing on patong Hill in the space of just a minute. In October, he said, the underpass at Central Festival Phuket on the bypass road would be finished.

Comments

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Oh my....
Would it not be better to check all vehicles for road-worthiness, enforcing laws and have proper driving tests?

As the problem is 100% the above mentioned, authorities are just moving the serious problem to other hills/parts at Phuket without solving the problem...

Posted by Mr. K on January 9, 2014 18:07

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Re-routing buses or trucks to hills North or South of Patong,will not improve driving skills, nor alleviate the 'failed brakes' syndrome.

Posted by Stuart on January 9, 2014 18:13

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Oh joy, given the number of recent stories in Phuketwan about trucks failing to master Nakalay Hill in Kamala stand by for more wacky races on the coast road and busy ambulances. Cement trucks were racing through Kamala the other night as the traffic lights were out due to a lengthy power cut. Once the inevitable happened and the ambulance had scooped up the consequences the police decided it might be a good idea to do some traffic control.

Properly trained drivers, properly maintained vehicles and properly loaded vehicles is the solution, instead of deflecting the problem. At least its a start though.

Posted by Mister Ree on January 9, 2014 18:14

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Traffic at Chalong Circle is already really bad, even during non-rush hours. So bad that living north of the circle, I will simply not go anywhere that's south of it.

It's normal to spend 5 to 15 minutes to get through it and re-routing all heavy vehicles there will make it a LOT worse.

I still can't understand why nobody thinks of lowering the Patong hill peak at the Chinese Temple.

Digging out 30 or 40 meters of height would make a huge difference in the steepness of the hill and would cost a fraction of what a tunnel does.

Use that dug out soil to flatten the "valley" descending towards Patong to further reduce the gradient.

Does anyone know where to submit such suggestions ? If the Governor is reading this article too, please consider that option.

Posted by ThaiMike on January 9, 2014 18:34

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200 fatalities later they decide to do something but don't expect much.

Posted by slickmelb on January 9, 2014 18:39

Editor Comment:

200 fatalities? The surprise has been that a really big crash has been averted.

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this will only shift the location of the accidents to the hills of Karon and Kamala

Posted by sky on January 9, 2014 18:50

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What motorbike lines? There are none. I think they are referring to the Shoulder... Maybe someone needs to inform them that it is not/hasn't been and is not intended to be a Motorbike Lane.

Posted by Tbs on January 9, 2014 19:48

Editor Comment:

I would say in the photograph that the white line near the motorcycle is a rough attempt at a motorcycle lane line.

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Its dangerous enough going from patong to karon on a motorbike taxi,which sometimes I do to go surfing or swimming....its now going to be a nightmare.....the only alternative is to move to karon .....or further south...

Posted by conerned on January 9, 2014 20:36

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..brilliant idea: the traffic at Chalong round circle wasn't enough yet..

Posted by dave on January 9, 2014 21:04

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Stopping the buses from crossing the hill into Patong is a great idea, but what about stopping all those big trucks as well?

Posted by Farang on January 9, 2014 22:36

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Dear Governor Maitree, If only you would control the 1699 minivan maniacs driving around too !
After 2 life endangering experiences, I would never get in one again!

Posted by Elizabeth on January 9, 2014 23:57

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But someone have idea about the situation of the road on the hill between Chalong and Kata??? It has practically been destroyed by heavy vehicles: right now is full of dips and debris that make it very dangerous..

Posted by richard on January 10, 2014 01:43

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Good idea to take some danger out of that hill. People first. Traffic is a mess anyway on Phuket, but better then another bus marauding downhill maiming motorbikes and cars on its way.

Posted by Lena on January 10, 2014 03:45

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They have to be joking. Why is it the route cause of these crashes can't be professionally investigated and fixed instead of shifting the problem to another area. i reside in Rawai and already the circle is a nightmare without adding more traffic.

Posted by DG on January 10, 2014 08:12

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This would really stuff up the routing and timetables for the airport bus service.

Posted by TT on January 10, 2014 09:50

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was reading this a second time and wondering..if trucks and buses will be allowed to still depart from Patong using Patong Hill??

Posted by sky on January 10, 2014 10:04

Editor Comment:

Yes.

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@DG, I think the answer lies in the definition of "professionally investigated," and to what degree of professionalism is not available.

Posted by Laurie Howells on January 10, 2014 10:11

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Only a question from a stupid farang: 40.000 baht fine for driving on dope or drink, and thats it? That's just money... In civilised countries you loose your license and you go to prison!

Posted by Swede from Malmo on January 10, 2014 17:12

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Lets see if I get this right to avoid going up and down the small sections of hills in the road from Katu to Phuket the solution is to go up a long long hill and down a long long drop from Kamala to Patong are they joking or do they want to see how big of a crash they can get if the brakes fail on the Kamala to Phuket hill. Plus how quickly people forget the number of trucks that have had break failures and crashes and have killed people on the one small hill from Chalong to Kata hardly a solution for poor driving and bad equipment put a check point in for all trucks and buses prior to going over the hills with fines to pay for it from each truck, bus or driver found not road worthy.

Posted by mike on January 10, 2014 18:11

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The buses continue to use Patong hill. Just more propaganda.

Posted by Fantasy A Go Go on January 27, 2014 16:27


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