Connect with us


PHUKET OPINION: Learn to live with the gridlock



PHUKET: A plan by Kathu Police to reverse the flow along one-way roads in Patong is a good first step toward reducing traffic chaos in the town, but much more needs to be done to provide the millions of people who visit Phuket annually with the safe and affordable transport they deserve..

Put in place early in 2007, the one-way system immediately faced opposition from tuk-tuk drivers, who complained the increased distances they would need to drive would push up operating costs and eat into profits.

Much like their resistance to the 2005 establishment of Soi Bangla as an after-dark walking street, the opposition was relatively short-lived.

They soon responded in the time-honored fashion of all monopolists faced with cost increases – by passing them off to customers.

Kathu Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakao is correct to point out that the existing ‘clockwise’ flow that requires drivers to ‘keep right’ along important east-west roads, like Soi Ruamjai and Soi Sawatdirak, not only creates confusion, but is also in violation of existing Thai traffic law. So obvious is the infraction that it comes as a surprise that no-one questioned its legality until now.

It is not just motorists who find themselves dangerously disoriented under the current scheme. Long-suffering pedestrians, already forced to run for their lives across three lanes of fast moving traffic on the main roads, are also at increased risk of getting run down on side streets, where they (quite reasonably) expect cars to be moving in the other direction. No wonder so many tourists in Phuket can be seen stepping off Patong sidewalks with the kind of trepidation known to soldiers in minefields.

Another hot spot that will benefit from the planned change is at the north end of the beach road, where vehicles turning right onto Phra Barami Road do so against oncoming traffic with no clear indication of who has the right of way.

Although details of the new plan have yet to be worked out, the Gazette agrees in principal with the change, which should be relatively easy to adopt by repositioning traffic signs and repainting road markers.

More difficult will be dealing with the traffic-paralyzing, and ever-worsening, flooding situation in Patong, much of it due to poorly regulated development along the new Phang Muang Road, Nanai Road, and well up into the Nakkerd Hills.

The ultimate challenge to solving the municipality’s traffic problems, however, is the ‘Tuk-tuk Club’. Until it deigns to accept some restrictions on parking and vehicle numbers, and to allow ‘baht-buses’ of the type enjoyed in Pattaya, we can be confident of continued chaos, danger and gridlock on the roads of Patong.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Hot News8 mins ago

Part one: the most haunted places in Bangkok

Hot News17 mins ago

Europe wakes up to US profiteering from Russia-Ukraine conflict

Crime51 mins ago

‘Pinky’ the alleged Forex 3D scammer released on bail after 3 months behind bars

Sponsored33 mins ago

Go global with Upbit Thailand: Worldwide digital asset market in your hands

Hot News1 hour ago

North Korea forces citizens to change names for a more idealistic sound

Tourism1 hour ago

Thailand’s southern islands are reeling in tourists

Thailand1 hour ago

Driver furious with BKK shopping mall after foreigner accidentally causes damage to her car | GMT

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Hot News2 hours ago

Ukraine’s hotline for surrendering Russian soldiers sees 100 enquiries a day

Hot News2 hours ago

Missing Australian teacher in Koh Samui found

Thailand16 hours ago

Cabinet seems to have ignored 4am nightlife proposal

Video17 hours ago

THAILAND NEWS TODAY | Korean woman arrested for 5-million-baht theft, 6-year overstay

Crime17 hours ago

Tuhao’s Chinese gang buys 50 homes in Bangkok luxury village with cash

Road deaths17 hours ago

Bus flipped in Tak injuring 44 Burmese workers, killing 3

Thailand17 hours ago

3 men were arrested for stealing Thai Internet connection & World Cup betting in Cambodia

Pattaya17 hours ago

Intoxicated Pattaya woman left uninjured after overturning car

Crime18 hours ago

Woman who allegedly scammed victims for over 30 million baht arrested in Pattaya

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11