PATONG: Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukkabal on April 2 announced that from next high season no parking will be allowed along the busy beach road.
“Taxis will be allowed on Thaweewong Rd only to drop off passengers,” K. Chairat told a press conference at Phuket Provincial Hall.
“Tuk-tuks and hawkers are currently taking up all the parking spaces along the beach road, leaving tourists with no place to park. We will provide more parking spaces and change traffic regulations to force all cars to park on the new road, away from the beach,” he said.
The new road he was referring to was Phang Muang Rd, the new road being built parallel between Nanai Rd and Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd, which is expected to be completed before the next high season.
The new road is expected to redirect traffic, including tuk-tuks, away from Thaweewong Rd, thus making Patong more tourist-friendly, he said.
K. Chairat said that the area has long been struggling with a high number of tuk-tuks because drivers from Kata, Kamala and Karon flock to Patong due to the higher income potential.
He added that Patong Municipality had received a growing number of complaints from tourists who felt that the town was overwhelmed with tuk-tuks and taxis.
“They are annoyed by the traffic jams on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd and Thaweewong Rd,” he said.
Traffic accidents near the beach and on Patong Hill, especially during rush hour, were also on the tourist’s list of concerns, he added.
While focusing on cleaning up the town, K. Chairat said that Patong Municipality would be keeping an eye on the number of sun beds being rented out on the beach. “After the tsunami, we allowed sun bed operators to set up an extra row of sun beds, but they have kept adding to them and now we see up to three rows in the high season, totaling about 2,000 sun beds. We want to ensure that number is sustainable and does not grow any further,” he said.
“Also, food vendors and hawkers are required to number their vehicles and stalls so that tourists can report them when a problem arises,” he said.
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