Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: bus U-turn may be red herring

Published

 on 

Phuket Opinion: bus U-turn may be red herring | Thaiger

PHUKET: Plans to introduce an “experimental” U-turn channel for the big inter-provincial buses slated to depart Phuket’s new bus terminal on Thepkrasattri Rd exhibit a novel approach to a vexing problem. But the enterprise is likely to confuse motorists who are unfamiliar with the somewhat unique, if not tragic, behavior we witness daily on the roads of Phuket.

Let us quickly summarize the proposed solution, as described on the front page of the current issue of the Phuket Gazette. (Digital subscribers click here to download your copy of the full issue.)

Departing coaches will turn left out of the new station and drive south on the shoulder (or ‘breakdown lane’) along Thepkrasattri Rd until they reach the so-called ‘Tantalum Junction’.

Modified traffic lights at that junction will signal all other traffic to stop, theoretically giving the lumbering buses the space they need to move across two lanes of southbound traffic before executing a 90-degree right turn which will take them in an arc across the two lanes of northbound traffic.

The fact that such a system has, so far as we know, never been tried anywhere else in the world might set off at least a few warning bells. For it to work safely and effectively, everything will have to be very clearly marked.

There will also need to be an active and caring police presence at all times, especially at night, to alert the bus drivers to motorbikes travelling north with no headlights in the south bound lanes, and those hurtling south with no headlights in the northbound lanes.

Most important of all is that motorists will need to exercise patience, discipline and common sense – virtues not always in evidence here. Failure to comply with the rules could produce some messy results – such as being crushed to death by buses which can weigh up to 30 tons before they are loaded.

This will not be the first time that Phuket authorities have resorted to baroque solutions to the island’s many iconic traffic cartoons.

The one-way system introduced in Patong in 2007 continues to confound visiting drivers. One unique characteristic of the system is the need for drivers to “keep right” on some of Patong’s east-west roads. These unique arteries are almost surely the only ones in Thailand where a North American driver can feel right at home… until hitting oncoming traffic turning into his or her east-west road at the next intersection with a north-south one.

When he took up his post early this year, Kathu Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakao announced as his top priority for Patong the redirection of the one-way system from clockwise to anti-clockwise by years end. We hope he will make good on that goal.

As for the new bus U-turn, if things turn ugly don’t be surprised if local residents take to the streets in protest. After all, this is what they did back in 1986 when they burned down the tantalum factory that bequethed the junction its name.

But the Gazette would advise readers not to worry excessively about the brave new bus experiment. The terminal itself continues to sit in silence, idle nine months after its completion and with no opening date sufficiently credible to be announced.

 

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Guides9 hours ago

Foodie Zone: Where to get vegan desserts in Bangkok 2022

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 36 dead in a mass shooting at a nursery in northeast Thailand

Guides10 hours ago

5 best wine bars in Bangkok offering rich and quality wine

Sponsored16 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

North East10 hours ago

Hip businesses in northeast Thai province offer tasty food and fun experiences

Crime10 hours ago

British CEO arrested at Bangkok Airport over 40 million baht fraud accusations

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand’s 5 national parks raise entry fees for foreigners by 100%

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok11 hours ago

Ari around invites Ari people to share good deeds through the app.

Press Room11 hours ago

Where to order cannabis/weed in Thailand

Chon Buri11 hours ago

Trouserless Chon Buri man crashes car into power pole

Entertainment11 hours ago

‘The Trapped 13’ lets Wild Boars speak for themselves

Thailand11 hours ago

Reported Bangkok VIP casino vanishes into thin air

World12 hours ago

Australia sets goal of preventing any more species from going extinct

Crime12 hours ago

Mass shooting in Thailand: 36 dead, including 24 children, 12 injured

Thailand12 hours ago

9 Thais arrested in South Korea for smuggling drugs

Drugs12 hours ago

Police snag 2.5 meth pills in checkpoint stings

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

Trending