PHUKET: An amazing new way of dealing with traffic problems appears to be just the solution that Phuket needs to keep its cars, motorcycles and minivans running and also provide a public transport option.
Chinese tourists are coming to the holiday island in greater numbers and it's the Chinese who have shown what thinking outside the box can achieve when it comes to a solution to traffic congestion.
The Land Airbus allows cars and public transport to share the same space. It's being proposed as a solution for traffic congestion in the Australian city of Perth, reports watoday.com.au, and it could be just what Phuket needs, too.
The present plan for a tram route to go down the middle of the island's main thoroughfare is likely to simply cause even greater problems, Phuketwan believes.
There's virtually no hope of a fixed form of transport competing with motorcycles, the preferred form of transport among the island's majority of residents.
Clear the palms from the median strip instead and put in two extra lanes for cars and motorcycles, and at the same time ban all large buses except for the ones on the fixed inter-provincial routes - that's the Phuketwan solution.
Minivans make for a good flow of traffic.
Buses slow everything down. With them banned and with trucks restricted to use outside peak hours, Phuket's traffic problems can be properly addressed.
A tram is too slow and not the answer.
However, at some point in the not too distant future, the Land Airbus, created by TBS China, could be just what Phuket needs.
Straddling the traffic lanes on rails, it allows vehicles to pass beneath it.
According to watoday,com.au, passengers travel in style, ascending to a seating area via a glass elevator that also deposits them at their air lift stations - while vehicle traffic streams underneath, unaffected by the Land Airbus stop.
TBS China claimed lower costs and time of construction, competitive carrying capacity and the elimination of hours spent in congested traffic.
Although raising some doubts about the suitability of the Chinese solution for Perth - which like Phuket needs to get more vehicles off the road - an Australian expert says: ''I'd still give them [TBS China] full marks for creativity and an original solution.''
Phuketwan drove south from the Phuket International Airport yesterday and encountered traffic congestion around yet another broken down bus in Thepkasattri Road.
Buses are Phuket's biggest traffic snarl problem and greatest danger on the roads.
Authorities should ban them completely before the Chalong Circle underpass opens. Now's the chance to act to give Phuket a smooth-flowing future.