Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Projects: ‘Benefits’ at odds with people’s choice

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The results of the most recent Phuket Gazette readers’ poll reveal that a clear majority want “airport bus” services to Phuket’s west coast resort towns as the tourism development project to move ahead above all others this year.

[See page 11, current issue of the Gazette. Digital subscribers click here to download the full newspaper.]

The results indicate that among English speakers in all three of the island’s major demographics – Thais, expats and tourists – the introduction of reasonably-priced public transport is seen as more important than the ‘megaprojects’ designed at luring in ever-more visitors, or dealing with an ever-increasing number of vehicles on our roads.

An important fact to note in the statistics flowing out of this survey is that the projects in highest demand are also the least expensive.

For example, more respondents (13.3%) wanted to see the low-cost option of installing meters in taxis and tuk-tuks than realization of the glamorous 2.6-billion-baht convention center porposal, which attracted a scant 3.4%. And so it was with the underpasses at the Central Festival and Tesco Lotus intersections (4.3%) and the 3.5 billion baht Patong Tunnel (3.4%).

Indeed, the 39.7 million baht spent by Patong on the tunnel project “feasibility study” would probably have been enough to install a meter in every tuk-tuk and taxi in the province, free of charge to the vehicles’ owners.

Of course it would be naïve to suggest that public demand would be enough to make our leaders do the right thing. By their own reckoning, the phon prayot (benefits) would be few, while the “costs” could be devastating – or even lethal in the case of, say installation of meters in tuk-tuks, no matter how much the public might want them. As the events of last week have shown (see front page story, this week’s Gazette), hitmen work cheap on our resort island, even when the target is a high-profile investigative reporter.

As we move toward the end of the first month of 2012, it appears that the horse race among the six referenced projects is hardly off to a lightning start, although funding for the Central Festival underpass has been approved and we are told that construction is set to begin this year.

Most readers will know that this particular project will cause a traffic nightmare while the work is underway, and with little respite after its completion since the real bottleneck is not at the junction itself, but further south where Chao Fa West narrows down to just one-and-a-half lanes from three in each direction. Amazingly, this is where the tunnel is actually designed to emerge.

As for the two new airport bus routes “expected” to go into service by next month, don’t hold your breath. The agency which provided that time line is the same one that completed construction of Phuket Bus Terminal 2 in Rassada back in December 2009 – and has been promising to open it ever since.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Phuket18 mins ago

9th and 10th monkeypox infections found in Phuket

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Face masks still required on public transport, in cinemas

Cannabis News2 hours ago

Pattaya man attacked at gunpoint for selling cannabis

Sponsored2 days ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Crime2 hours ago

Police seize 60 suspects in online ‘Ghost Guns’ sting

Thailand2 hours ago

Bangkok Secret Nightlife – Bangkok Red Light District Secret Museum

Coronation4 hours ago

King Charles III debuts on UK coins

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Politics18 hours ago

Vladimir Putin officially annexed four parts of Ukraine

Transport20 hours ago

Phuket Airport officials pulled tourist from van, insisted they use airport taxi

Thailand21 hours ago

Thailand’s strange laws – 10 strange laws in Thailand

Politics22 hours ago

The long goodbye – Which way now for PM Prayut?

Pattaya22 hours ago

Pattaya Police Chief cleared of vice slurs, back on duty

Tourism23 hours ago

Reopening Thailand has a busy activity schedule

Tourism23 hours ago

Today is the day! Full post-pandemic Thailand reopening

Pollution1 day ago

Garbage in canals worsens flooding in Bangkok

Weather1 day ago

Hurricane Ian lashes South Carolina

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending