New transport minister backtracks on previous government’s van upgrade policy

The previous government was hellbent on upgrading many of the country’s old vans to new buses and min-buses. The proposals, and the decline of August 13, was met with a lot of opposition with public transport operators who would have to take on the new investment in upgrading equipment.

The previous government’s intentions were to improve the levels of safety on public vans and the poor accident record with weekly reports of van crashes and fatalities around the country.

But after talking with van operators in the Bangkok area, new Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob says that he will now revisit the policy requiring public van services to switch from van to bus.

“If operators insist on using their existing van, they must ensure the old van achieves the safety standards.”

For van operators who would like to change to a microbus, the registration deadline, previously set for August 13 (this Tuesday), is no longer valid.

The minister also directed the Land Transport Department to allow 10-12 year old vans to ensure they pass quality standards. He will later discuss with the department about security measures.

SOURCE: The Nation

PHOTO: Thai Rath

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