Big C opening causes traffic chaos
PHUKET TOWN: The snarl of traffic on the bypass road yesterday, on the evening of the opening of Big C Supercenter, marked the start of a fierce battle for the hearts and wallets of Phuket shoppers between Big C and the its retail giant rival, Tesco Lotus Supercenter. Both have brought the heavy artillery in for the battle. Big C is offering hefty discounts and “life” music concerts, while just down the road, Lotus is also holding a number of concerts in its car park, featuring six of the country’s best-known artists from Grammy Entertainment. The first concert, by country singer Got Jakraphan, was held yesterday, and attracted a crowd estimated at close to 10,000. Today, Tong Pakkaramai and Por from the group “Jamp” will perform. Yaya Ying and the group Dragon 5 will take the stage tomorrow, while Sunday’s concert will feature teen heartthrob Mos Patipan. Pol Lt Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen, Deputy Superintendent of Phuket Police Station, told the Gazette that the peak period for traffic in the area yesterday evening was between 4:30 pm and 10 pm. “I think the traffic will be jammed again tonight because most people got paid today. People from Phang Nga and Krabi will come to shop as well,” Col Teerapol said. He suggested that people going to the airport should avoid the bypass road. Those from Phuket Town should take Thepkrasattri Rd, while those from Patong should go by way of Kamala and Thalang or the Heroines’ Monument. The traffic jams created an unexpected benefit, however, Lt Col Teerapol noted. “There were very few accidents last night because the traffic jam forced everyone to drive very slowly.”
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