Bangkok officials issue advice to motorists to avoid parliament area due to protest

PHOTO: Jakapan Chumchuen / Flickr

Bangkok motorists would do well to avoid the roads around the Sappaya-Sapasathan building later today, with a political rally set to take place there this afternoon. That’s the word from officials, who have issued guidance to motorists ahead of the protest in front of the new parliament building, expected to kick off at 2pm and continue late into the evening.

According to a report in Nation Thailand today, the Metropolitan Police Bureau are advising drivers to avoid Kiak Kai Road, in front of the parliament building, as well as a number of other roads in the vicinity.

“On Thursday afternoon, the Free Youth group will hold a political rally in front of Parliament, where a meeting to amend the constitution is taking place. We expect the rally to start at 2pm and last until 10pm.”

MPB chief Pakkapong Pongpetra adds that the following roads are also best avoided:

• Samsen Road (from Bang Kra Beu intersection to Kiak Kai intersection)
• Pracharat Sai 1 Road (from Kiak Kai intersection to Bang Pho intersection)
• Thaharn Road (from Kiak Kai intersection to Saphan Daeng intersection)

Nation Thailand reports that drivers who need to get from Bang Kra Beu intersection to Bang Pho intersection are advised to take Amnuay Songkram Road, to Rama V Road, Techa Wanich Road, Pracharat Sai 2 Road, and finally Bang Pho intersection.

Pakkapong says officials are not expecting any trouble at today’s rally. The rally was announced last Sunday by protesters at the weekend demonstration held around the grounds of the Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus and the adjacent Sanam Luang royal parade grounds. The weekend protests attracted around 30,000 people.

“Protest leaders have asked Parliament for permission to hold the rally and have promised to obey the law and not block public roads. The MPB expects the rally to end peacefully, when the meeting concludes at 10pm.”

Despite officials’ confidence that the rally will pass off without incident, security has been tightened around the building. Additional police officers are being drafted in, as well as a security patrol along the Chao Phraya River, and an evacuation helicopter in the event senior parliamentarians need to make a swift getaway.

Meanwhile, motorists in need of further traffic information or roadside assistance can visit or call 1197.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Maya Taylor

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