Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket’s ‘tunnel vision’

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Of the many ‘megaproject’ ideas conceived for Phuket over the years, few have captured the public imagination like the ‘Patong Tunnel’.

Of course, the decades-old plan to build a world-class convention center somewhere on the island has been the subject of more ink, political infighting and expensive study over the years, but the idea of such a facility is far less captivating to most island residents.

The reason for this may be that at some point, most of us have found ourselves trapped for long stretches of time on steep sections of Patong Hill road due to the fast-forming tailbacks that occur there anytime there is an accident, no matter how minor.

The majority of these accidents are run-of-the-mill mishaps caused by the combination of overconfidence and carelessness that seems to afflict so many Phuket motorists.

In addition to these are the blockages caused by overloaded vehicles, large and small, that lack the horsepower to make it up the steepest gradients.

Then there are the more serious accidents that occur when unroadworthy vehicles – including tour buses full of tourists – manage to lumber to the top, but then lose their brakes on the way back down.

A number of issues quickly spring to mind whenever the idea of a tunnel to Patong reasserts itself in the media cycle.

First and foremost is whether a tunnel is really needed, given that the vast majority of accidents that occur on ‘Mount Mayhem’ are the direct result of negligence, not the condition of the road itself.

The 40-million-baht price tag of the feasibility study now underway has also raised the eyebrows of many island residents, many of whom cynically write it off as a waste of taxpayer money.

Despite such cynicism, as this goes to press the latest Gazette ‘Readers’ Poll’ indicates a majority of readers in all three demographics (Thai, foreign expats, foreign tourists) agree that a tunnel would be ‘good for Phuket’.

Nevertheless, it remains difficult not to harbor skepticism when so many other basic infrastructure improvements desperately needed in Patong still wait to be addressed.

The result has been flooding, landslides, electrocutions, water supply shortages and the highest public transport fees – by far – anywhere in the kingdom.

Given this fact, it is fair to ask whether making it easier for even more vehicles to reach Patong will result in an improvement – or just add to the existing chaos.

Readers wishing to vote in the poll may do so by simply clicking here.

— Stephen Fein

 

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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand12 hours ago

Cabinet seems to have ignored 4am nightlife proposal

Video13 hours ago

THAILAND NEWS TODAY | Korean woman arrested for 5-million-baht theft, 6-year overstay

Crime13 hours ago

Tuhao’s Chinese gang buys 50 homes in Bangkok luxury village with cash

Sponsored15 hours ago

Krungthong Plaza offers endless choices of well-selected plus-size fashion products

Road deaths13 hours ago

Bus flipped in Tak injuring 44 Burmese workers, killing 3

Thailand13 hours ago

3 men were arrested for stealing Thai Internet connection & World Cup betting in Cambodia

Pattaya13 hours ago

Intoxicated Pattaya woman left uninjured after overturning car

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime14 hours ago

Woman who allegedly scammed victims for over 30 million baht arrested in Pattaya

Bangkok14 hours ago

Bangkok BTS Skytrain fares to increase next year

Thailand14 hours ago

Police put brakes on car rental thief in Bangkok

World15 hours ago

New drug marks major milestone in slowing Alzhemier’s

World Cup15 hours ago

400 to 500 migrant workers in Qatar died due to World Cup, not 6,500

Visa16 hours ago

Thailand advises Indians to obtain visa prior to travelling to avoid long queues

Thailand16 hours ago

Driver furious with Bangkok shopping mall after foreigner accidently causes damage to her car

Politics16 hours ago

Iran promises Thailand it won’t attack Israeli tourists

Crime17 hours ago

Korean woman arrested for 5 million baht theft, 6-year overstay

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