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Tuk-tuks and taxis clutter all the spaces in Patong's beach road

Phuket Taxi, Tuk-Tuk Ultimatum: Time to Quit Beach Road, Patong Drivers Told

Saturday, November 2, 2013
PHUKET: Taxi and tuk-tuk drivers on Phuket are being urged today to accept major reforms instead of confronting police in one pointless final Patong clash that they cannot be allowed to win.

In an effort to avoid a showdown on the street, Somchai Neawnan, head of Patong's Motorcycles for Rent Association, urged drivers today to accept the changes about to be introduced on Patong's beach road.

The start of the 2013 high season appears to be the moment tourists and residents have been waiting to see: a surefire sign of public transport reform.

''I am sure police are going to do it [clear the beach road parking spaces] this time because they have powerful backing this time to do it,'' Khun Somchai said.

''I want to say to the drivers that it's time for a change in behavior, a change for the future of Patong.''

Ever-increasing numbers of taxis and tuk-tuks have cluttered Patong's beach road over the past decade to the point where Khun Somchai says 30 groups are now fighting for space.

One of the largest and most powerful ranks, the Merlin taxi stand, has accepted that reforms must come.

Two equally powerful ranks, the Banana Walk queue and the Patong Beach queue, are still considering a blockade in protest.

With a new tough-talking Phuket police commander and the clear support of all Phuket authorities, the crunch has come for the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers of Patong.

Khun Somchai, one of the key Patong group leaders, urged conciliation today and suggested that the authorities should talk to drivers before acting.

He played down a rumor that a blockade was imminent, saying: ''Talks are really vital and I am sure the drivers can be persuaded that it is time for change.

''If they take one step back it will be good for generations to come, and for the future of Patong and Phuket.''

The subtle arm wrestle has been going on since it became apparent that Phuket had to change or lose its future market as a popular tourism destination.

Too many complaints from tourists have been circulated via consuls and ambassadors back to the Government and new Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak, who is leading the charge for change.

''Tourists who visit the new Patong will tell friends that everything has changed for the better and Phuket is being sensibly organised,'' Khun Somchai said.

''Patong has a great future and the drivers need to understand that they have to accept the changes to be a part of that future.''

Key to the reforms along the beach road lies with the drivers accepting that only three vehicles will be left in each group along beach road. Others will wait in more secluded parts of Patong to be called in as needed.

It's a system that works well in most other parts of the world.

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The good drivers will accept this easily and the others that challenge the authorities don't serve the people of phuket and should be removed from being a service provider and go back from where they came from. Give the Island back to the good people that serve the community so well. This is the Golden time, the "Kali Yuga".

Posted by irishkev24 on November 2, 2013 10:52

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A small step in the right direction.

Hope they will succeed but I'm not holding my breath after so many similar campaigns and promises that amounted to nothing.

Posted by ThaiMike on November 2, 2013 11:01

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A positive sign, however, I have recently noticed taxis just stopping on the beach road past Bangla to try to get fares, if the spaces are freed then where will these drivers go? It could create more traffic congestion. The call center idea should be encouraged along with this change.

Posted by Jon on November 2, 2013 11:48

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OK there has been some talk about the Beach Rd., but will Rat U Thit Rd. also be cleared?

The main traffic downtown goes clock wise, thus the connecting sois are one-way directed. That makes plenty of space in the quit sois, so why not park the exessing tuk-tuks there?

Posted by Sherlock on November 2, 2013 12:27

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All they have to do is provide parking areas for the tuk tuks with clearly labeled kiosks at key locations & radio contact. Give the drivers a sequence number so everyone gets their turn. Provide the parking areas with some snack facilities & I am sure the drivers will be well happy.

After Patong, Kata & Karon next please!

Posted by Logic on November 2, 2013 13:50

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Can't wait to walk or ride down the beach road and be able to see some room to move,, I hope they get it done,,

Posted by sean on November 2, 2013 14:02

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Will that change anything on the exorbitant fares?

Posted by Nick on November 2, 2013 15:16

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All the government needs to do is create a fleet of 2-300 10B seangtaws like everywhere else in Thailand and the tuktuk/taxi issue goes away. Well, after a few roadblocks anyway.

Posted by NomadJoe on November 2, 2013 22:39

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"Khun Somchai, one of the key Patong group leaders, urged conciliation today and suggested that the authorities should talk to drivers before acting."

WHY ?

Posted by Aachen on November 3, 2013 10:12

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@Aachen: 'WHY?'

Because they have had everything their own way for far too long.

It will come as a rude shock if the authorities actually enforce their will on these people ... both to the tuk tuk drivers ... & to those of us who have been on the receiving end of their disgraceful behavior for many years!

Posted by Logic on November 3, 2013 13:23

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time you check out motorbike taxis on the 30/10/2013 i was charged 100baht from nani rd -to rat u tit rd rip off , and i was by the crown hotel wasnt on bike 2 minutes

Posted by kelvyn2507 on November 4, 2013 05:21

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@ThaiMike
I've been holding my breath so long they call me Mr. "Blue" ;)
IF this happens then Phuket can start thinking about "Quality" visitors.

Posted by Jacgem on November 4, 2013 10:30

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Yesterday, Tuesday 05 november 2013, I was joining some friends to have dinner at Jungceylon at Patong Beach.
I arrived with my pick-up truck with a couple of friends and as I can parking inside I have to park where minibus and tour buses are parked but the parking lot was full.
I found a nice place on the private road inside Jungceylon near the roundabout and parked there.
I did not have time to close the car that a local thug came with his car and said it was his parking as he was a taxi driver.
I looked his car license plate and saw that his car was registered in Bangkok with a white plate.
So I explained to him that he was not a legal taxi because his car is not registered in Phuket with a yellow plate to be a legal registered taxi.
So, he started to shouting in Thai and English and other taxi drivers started to come to support him.
I did not give up to that thugs as they said they were legal taxis working for PISONA TOUR Company (Pian KEESIN'C Company) and showed me their t-shirts with Pisona logo on.
I explained to them about that illegal taxi and that Phuket Governor and chief of Police would be happy to check about the way they were harrassing and treating us physically in front of tourists.
Then a guard from Jungceylon came and asked me to move the car to a place he found for us.
I moved to the new parking place.
Then the man inside the gate office asked me to pay for the parking.
We got in argument again as the first 30 minutes are free; then we can park for free if we have a ticket showing we did shopping at Jungceylon as written in Thai and English.
When we came back I showed him my restaurant bill and we were able to move away without paying the parking place but the guard was not happy at all.
In conclusion do not go or do not send friends, tourists to Patong Beach as it is problem, problem and problem.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on November 6, 2013 12:27

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@ Whistle Floater. So because you have an incident in Patong (Similar incident happens all over Phuket and some other tourist destinations on a daily basis), your clever and wise conclusion is

"Do not go or do not send friends, tourists to Patong Beach as it is problem, problem and problem".

You are a very wise man Monsieur Charlie.

So everybody in Thailand and abroad and civil servants alike who is not corrupt. Don't come to Thailand....Stay away, because it is only problems, problems, problems......And no. I do not approve what they did....Well towards Whistle Blower I do actually.

Sorry ED. Couldn't help it

Posted by Zenobiz on November 6, 2013 21:29

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what about all the cars for rent that block up most of the car parking spaces

Posted by Michael on November 6, 2013 23:11

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@Michael
"what about all the cars for rent that block up most of the car parking spaces"

At the beach road? They 'got removed' and warned, not to park there 24/7, some years ago!
So no problem, there. oooops

Posted by opsi on November 7, 2013 10:24

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@ zenobiz- the problem is that the only way for things to change in Patong is people power. I take it you support mob rule and were quite happy for harm to come to Whistleblower based on your comment? I would welcome your solution to the parking problem.

There is no place for 'expats' who wish to visit Patong to park safely in legal parking spots as incidents such as Whistle Blower's occur almost instantly.
I was talking to a restaurant owner last night who cannot even park his vehicle outside his own establishment without being subject to abuse.

If Jungceylon operated its parking area 24hrs a day is would alleviate a lot of the problems but you still have to get from there to other parts of Patong by taxi. Why can I not park legally in a designated parking spot and not be threatened and have my vehicle damaged.

Patong is for tourists - us expats are not wanted there and I for one am happy to stay away from the place. It has spiralled out of control over the 9 years I have been in Phuket and will eventually pay for its folly.

Posted by Mister Ree on November 7, 2013 11:19

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FYI all; there's perfectly good parking space over the road on the eastern side of Jungceylon.

Posted by Sam Wilko on November 7, 2013 12:24


Tuesday September 16, 2014
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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