Battle brewing over U-turn closure

RASSADA: Residents of Village 2 are threatening to protest if Rassada Municipality moves ahead with a plan to permanently close down the U-turn on Thepkrasattri Rd, just north of Supercheap.

At a meeting of Village 2 residents and local officials yesterday morning, residents led by spokesman Anurak Hongwongpaisarn said the plan to close the U-turn announced by Rassada Municipality last week is unacceptable to local residents.

Under the plan, the U-turn would be permanently blocked for safety reasons. Those needing to reverse directions after shopping at Supercheap would have to travel another kilometer north to the new U-turn, located near the turnoff to the access road to Laem Hin.

“Closing the U-turn will cause a great deal of hardship to local people. Also, the new U-turn is located in a dark and desolate area. It will be dangerous for women returning home from work after dark,” he said.

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Mr Anurak said the Supercheap U-turn was not intrinsically dangerous. The many accidents that occur there are the result of unsafe driving, so the municipality should instruct motorists to obey traffic laws rather than close the U-turn, he said.

Rassada Mayor Suratin Lian-udom said the plan to close the Supercheap U-turn followed complaints made by motorists about the dangerous conditions and frequency of accidents there. Accidents occur there on a daily basis, with most resulting in serious injury due to the high speeds involved, he said.

“When we send our kids off to school or out to buy something, we never know if they’ll make it home alive,” he said.

Mayor Suratin said a poll of local residents found that 184 respondents favored closing the U-turn, compared to 116 people opposed.

The poll results will be presented to Phuket City Police and the Phuket Provincial Highways Office for consideration before any final decision on the matter is made, he said.

“I also will present the objections of those opposed to the closure,” he said.

Phuket News
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