PHUKET: Bicycle were banned on Phi Phi Island’s public walkways today following complaints from tourists about crowded streets and reckless cyclists.
“The bicycle problem started about three years ago. Since then, the number of bikes on the island has increased significantly,” said Prasert Wongma, deputy chief executive officer of Ao Nang Administration Organization (OrBorTor).
“No vehicles are allowed on the walkways, it is against the law. In the past, only local Thais were using the bicycles to get around.”
Mr Prasert blames the increase in bicycle traffic on migrant workers.
“Many Myanmar nationals are working on construction sites Phi Phi. They use bicycles to get to work, but are always rushing and are very reckless,” Mr Prasert said.
“Some use bikes with carts to transport items, leaving little to no space for tourists to walk. They have even hit some tourists and sworn at them.”
The Ao Nang OrBorTor is planning to install signs to inform island-dwellers about the ban.
“Anyone caught illegally riding a bike after Sunday [today] will be warned. After that, they will be fined,” Mr Prasert added.
Mr Prasert confirmed that the amount of the fine had yet to be determined.
There will be some exceptions to the ban.
“We will make an exception for students, as long as they are in uniform, and for a few local elders who cannot walk long distances,” Mr Prasert told the Phuket Gazette.
“In case of an emergency, golf carts from Phi Phi Island Hospital, as well as police motorbikes, will still be allowed on public walkways.”
— Voratuss Intasee