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New Phuket bus terminal “open by October’: transport chief

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PHUKET: The new chief of the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office, Teerayout Prasertphol, needs to “break” the traffic island in front of the new interprovincial bus terminal on Thepkrasattri Road if the terminal is to start operations by October.

Work on the new bus terminal was completed in December 2009, but neither Rassada Municipality nor the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization agreed to take over its day-to-day operation.

The 128-million-baht facility has thus remained vacant for the past 19 months. That will become 23 months if it opens in October.

A three-month trial of using the u-turn at Tantalum Junction that was slated to start on August 26 last year never began due to resistance from local residents.

“After talking with local community leaders, we learned that if we started the trial, the local residents would have staged a protest,” said Chief Teerayout.

“But this time, I will take serious action on this problem,” he added.

“It is very possible to break the traffic island. We need no more than three million baht to do it. I have set the goal to push and have everything done by this October.

“And if Rassada people don’t want this, they will have to provide a reasonable explanation in writing,” he said.

Mr Teerayout argued that local residents had much to gain from the new terminal opening.

“Once the terminal opens, local people will benefit greatly, especially taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers, local shop owners and souvenir shops,” he said.

However, before any work can go ahead, the concept of “breaking the traffic island” must first be approved by Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha.

The idea will be presented to the governor as soon as possible, Mr Teerayout said.

When the terminal opens, it will be home to bus services running from Phuket to Bangkok, and from Phuket to other provinces, except Phang Nga.

Buses running from Phuket to Phang Nga will still depart from the bus terminal on Phang Nga Road in Phuket Town.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

 

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