Patong to try one-way traffic

PATONG: In the hope of bringing some order to Patong’s traffic chaos, on January 15 the town will adopt a one-way road system on a three-month trial.

The one-way system will see Rat U-Thit 200 Pi Rd become one-way southbound and Thaweewong Rd (the beach road) one-way northbound from Prachanukhro Rd to Phra Barami Rd.

Prachanukhro Rd will become one-way from Rat U-Thit 200 Pi Rd to Thaweewong Rd, toward the beach.

All other roads in the municipality will remain two-way, including Soi Bangla, which will remain closed to traffic at night.

Pol Capt Parinya Rattana, who is in charge of traffic in Patong, said the one-way system will run until April 15, 2007, after which its effectiveness will be reviewed.

“I am 80% to 90% sure there won’t be any problems. This project can reduce traffic problems in Patong, and it will be much easier to control traffic when we have a fair or special activity on the beach road,” he said.

When the new system goes into effect, arrows indicating one-way traffic flow will be painted on the streets and roadsigns erected to inform motorists of the change, he added.

The route was chosen after a November 10 public hearing to elicit input from tuk-tuk and motorcycle taxi drivers, hotel owners, entertainment business owners and other members of the public, Capt Parinya said.

However, there are no plans to introduce a hop-on, hop-off “baht bus” similar to the cheap, popular service in Pattaya.

Phuket Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukbal said that he has put the idea before the Municipality, but that there has been no progress on the issue.

Tourists in Patong are currently charged a 100-baht minimum fare by tuk tuk drivers, regardless of the distance – contributing to Patong’s reputation as having one of the most expensive public transport systems in Thailand.

Phuket News

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