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Phuket Hills Road from Patong to Chalong Gaining Support

Friday, May 11, 2012
PHUKET: The controversial Chalong-Patong road through the Nakkerd Hills moved closer yesterday with a public meeting held to discuss the venture in Phuket City.

Most of the village leaders from Chalong and Patong were at the Phuket Merlin Hotel to hear the latest on the project.

With Phuket Director of Town Planning and Public Works, Wongsakorn Nunchoowong chairing proceedings, participants heard that the need for a comprehensive disaster plan for Phuket could be a positive in winning appoval for the road.

The road would allow access in both directions more rapidly if there were more tsunami alerts, the gathering heard, something that safety officials now accept Phuket needs.

The overriding benefit remains the saving of 20 minutes on the present journey, which necessitates travellers going via Phuket City at present. Southern Phuket would open up to a new wave of tourists if the road goes ahead.

Environmental restrictions on the road exceeding the 80-metre bulding limit prevent development of the current track now, but exceptions have been made in the past.

Comments

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Yes, looking at google earth this is a perfect solution.

A road from Kamala to Kathu waterfall should also be considered

These two roads would help traffic flow a lot!!

Posted by Mr. K on May 11, 2012 12:59

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Great article.
I dont think its a bad idea to have this road, especially since half of it is already built up the hill - right? but that being said, that hill is 5 minutes to kata which is 15 minutes to patong..20-30 minutes to patong from that area already. Nonetheless, the tsunami issue appears to really push the decision over the fence - for good reason!

Posted by Jake on May 11, 2012 14:53

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Should have been done years ago. I drove it about 5 years back. Dirt, but reasonable. Needed a bit of grading, etc... but it already exists. Lots of rubber plantations back there at the moment.

The arguement was always the Forestry Land that needed to be built on. Not really the 80m limit. That's a joke, since so much Forestry Land over 80m on the hills around Patong have been cut down to grow rubber. Very little native forest.

Seems like a good decision to complete the road and reduce the travel time from Patong to Chalong to 15 minutes vs. 30+ minutes at the moment. It will also cut the traffic on Patong hill and Chao Fa West Road, which is getting very slow with all the new stop lights.

The road is a bit hilly, especially coming into Patong, so IMHO you would need to restrict large vehicles, cement trucks, and large tour buses.

I guess you need to ask yourself, who doesn't want the road to be completed? Vested interests?

Posted by GiantFan on May 11, 2012 17:19

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As Mr K said, having the second road would really spread out all the traffic...thus we probably wouldn't need a tunnel.

Posted by sky on May 11, 2012 17:47

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As others also mentioned, this road has already been deforested many years ago. Also I drove it several times although a 4wheeldrive was needed. A former governor walked it and was in favor too. A couple off week it was published in an English paper that this road could be realized within one year. It might save us a tunnel project of billions, which will not be needed any more by the time it is finished! Patong is destroying itself in the way it currently develops and the way it the mafia controls it. TukTuk, jetski, timeshare/fractional ownership, corruption in general and so on.

Posted by PhuketExpat on May 11, 2012 18:44

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@sky

Most cars not even have proper lighting and tour buses and trucks have constant break system failures, we also have an issue with basic law enforcement and also serious issues with quality checks on safety systems.
As of today - after 7 years - we did not even get Tsunami towers working properly!
I hope media will help to ensure that this Tunnel never happens - Far to danger and one single accident might cost hundreds of people the life!

Posted by Mr. K on May 11, 2012 18:57

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I drove this road about 4 years ago. Can't do with normal motorbike. Very steep in some point and sometimes seems to be in the middle of nothing.. For me is crazy idea.. People that cant built and take care a road like from Kathu to Patong (that slides every rain season) and have any idea how to surface a road properly and let the heavy trucks full of cement destroying the rest (the road from rawai to Kata) can't afford this job...

Posted by Dave on May 11, 2012 19:02

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From a traffic point of view, there is much to be said in favour of this road. However, with the mindset of the people of Phuket and those who "govern" them it will inevitably draw massive development along, commercial, and above all "pool villas with a view". Almost all of this road is above 60 m (up to 250 m in fact) and this development will seriously infringe on the water catchment areas of the island. Sure, some of the original forest is gone and has been been replaced by rubber. But rubber trees are certainly to be preferred over cement and concrete. With the example of Freedom Beach reported also today where even a former governor and some 13 officers are said to have been involved in fraudulent behaviour, who can guarantee that this road will only remain a road and not a strip mall or worse.

Posted by Guenter Bellach on May 12, 2012 19:30


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