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Crucial Phuket road deteriorating

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The state of the Patong-Karon road has gotten worse over the years and accidents are now an everyday occurrence, local residents say.

The name of the winding road, dubbed Route 4233, changes from Sirirat Road on the Patong side to Patak Road after passing into tambon Karon near Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort.

Three sections are particularly hazardous due to poor road conditions that include potholes, warping and folding.

The first is a 50-meter stretch near the Secret Cliff Resort, about one kilometer north of Le Meridien, where several large patches of asphalt in the northbound lane have become dangerous due to an uneven road surface, particularly at night.

Further south are two more treacherous sections, one near the Baan Karon Hill Resort and Spa and another near the Karon Cliff Boutique Bungalows.

A staff member at the Baan Karon Hill Resort said, “I have been working here less than a year, but I have seen many accidents – as many as two a day in the rainy season when the road gets slippery.

Most of them are foreigners who aren’t familiar with the roads. I haven’t seen anyone die yet, but I have seen many sent to hospital for broken bones,” he said.

Efforts to repair the danger spots haven’t solved the problem in the long term, he said.

“They are always out here fixing it, but after about 20 days it becomes damaged again,” he said.

A tuk-tuk driver who plies the route between Patong and Kata-Karon said he has seen many accidents along the road.

“Most of them are foreigners unfamiliar with the road and many of them are speeding when they crash,” he said.

“It’s been going on for about two years and it happens year round, not just in the rainy season. There are many danger spots on the road and many people lose control of their motorbikes trying to avoid them,” he said.

Efforts to improve the most dangerous sections have only brought about temporary relief, he said.

“We always call the governor’s complaint number asking for the Highway Department to come out and make repairs. Sometimes we have to wait up to 10 days. When they do come, they just cover the problem spots with asphalt, so before long the problems re-emerge. It just goes on like this over and over again,” he said.

Despite the temporary patches the overall condition of the road continues to deteriorate and in many spots has become so bad that nobody dares drive over them.

“There is damage all the way to Patong. If I am driving my tuk-tuk and the damage is in my lane I cross over and drive on the wrong side of the road because I don’t want my tuk-tuk to get damaged,” he said.

Phuket Highway Department chief Arun Sa-nae admitted the road was in a sorry state, but said in the end all road users have to assess road conditions and be responsible for their own safety.

“Bad driving and failure to maintain motorbikes properly are also part of the problem. It’s not just about whether the road is good or bad. Accidents will always happen if drivers are careless.

Accidents occur not only because of the condition of the road surface, but also because the road is curvy and narrow,” he said.

Roads in hilly, coastal areas are notoriously difficult to build and maintain and the problems in Phuket are exacerbated by rainy season erosion and poorly regulated roadside development, he said.

Budgeting is also a problem, he admitted.

The cost of sending out a team to do temporary repairs can run as high as 100,000 baht per job, but this is still far less expensive than rebuilding the entire road.

As the department can’t afford to fix the entire road, they have to focus on the problem spots, he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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Transport

Transport Company interprovincial bus services to the South remain suspended

Jack Burton

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Transport Company interprovincial bus services to the South remain suspended | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Transport Company, Thailand’s interprovincial bus company, announced this week that it is continuing its suspension of all services to the southern provinces as the country will be under the state of emergency until June 30.

It did not say when services will resume. The company was expected to resume services from Bangkok to Koh Samui, Phuket and Trang from June 1.

The Cabinet decided on Tuesday to extend state of emergency in line with measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

Transport Company announced in April, when the national curfew came into force, that services on routes longer than 300 kilometres would remain halted nationwide until further notice.

Services on routes under 300km operated by minibuses are still allowed, from 5am-4pm, and parcel services can operate from 5am-8:30pm.

The decision is in line with the decision of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to maintain the night curfew, from 11pm-3am, and discourage travel between provinces to restrict the spread of the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Rai quarantines 26 returnees from Phuket

Jack Burton

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Chiang Rai quarantines 26 returnees from Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook

26 returnees from Phuket back to Chiang Rai arrived home on 2 passenger coaches today and were immediately placed in 14 day quarantine. The 26 arrived at the Wiang Indra Riverside Resort in Chiang Rai province (by the way, it looks VERY nice!).

The Deputy provincial governor of Chiang Rai welcomed them and asked them to adhere to the precautionary measures set by the health department. Thorough screening was reportedly conducted by Chiang Rai health officials and they were also reminded to eat only well cooked food, use a personal serving spoon when eating, wash their hands regularly, practice social distancing and most importantly wear face masks at all times.

Meanwhile a group of 400 Thais returnees from foreign countries were placed in state quarantine facilities in Chonburi province yesterday. 7 hotels in Pattaya City have been designated state quarantine facilities. The hotels have been approved by the health department for Thais returning from abroad. Around 2,000 returnees are now being quarantined there. Yesterday’s 400 returnees, that had been stranded in Italy, Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan, arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport before travelling to the quarantine facilities in Chon Buri.

Health officials today reported 11 returnees from overseas tested positive for Covid-19. The 11, 5 of them masseurs, raised Thailand’s total cases to 3,065 since the outbreak began.

“We can say that there are no new locally infected Covid-19 cases as far as official reports are concerned. Even more, all the new cases reported daily were infected in other countries.”

Of the 3,065 accumulated cases, 2,945 (96%) have recovered, with 14 more patients released over the previous 24 hours. Just 63 patients remained in hospital. The death toll remains at 57.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Mayor’s statement sparks hope Chonburi beaches may reopen soon

Maya Taylor

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Mayor’s statement sparks hope Chonburi beaches may reopen soon | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bang Saen beach, Chonburi - Wikimedia

A Facebook post from the mayor of Saen Suk, home to the renowned Bangsaen beach, says beaches “may” reopen from June 1. (Before you ask, there is currently no official information on when Bangsaen, Pattaya or Phuket’s beaches may actually reopen.)

Beaches in the eastern province of Chonburi were closed nearly two months ago as authorities enacted strict lockdown measures to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Chonburi has now had no new reported cases of the virus for more than 30 days and residents are getting antsy over the ongoing beach closures.

Authorities continue to state that the closures are to prevent unlawful gatherings and the risk of people travelling from nearby provinces, such as Bangkok, thereby causing a second wave of infections. Bangkok has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country. Despite this, local expats and Thais are demanding that Chonburi’s beaches be reopened, particularly in light of this happening in other resort areas such as Hua Hin.

The Pattaya News reports that Bangsaen beach reopening does not necessarily mean Pattaya’s beaches could also reopen as that decision lies with Pattaya’s civic officials. Despite Pattaya not having any new reported cases of the virus for over 40 days now, Pattaya City Hall authorities remain concerned about mass gatherings, the consumption of alcohol and the risk that social distancing measures would not be adhered to were they to reopen the city’s beaches.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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