Over 100 Phuket tuk-tuk drivers delivered their protest at Kathu Police Station yesterday afternnon to call for changes about the new one-way system in Patong. Kathu Deputy Superintendent Lt Col Kittipong Klaikaew took 45 of them into a meeting room at the station to hear their complaint.
One of them Mardlee “Bang Lee” Sawangpon (56) was standing as “advising president” for an independent band of drivers who call themselves the Tuk Tuk Club. This group is not the part of Patong Taxi Federation that ran by Preechavude “Prab” Keesin. “I have been on the road for 23 years and I know a lot about traffic – and, for sure, the current system is making traffic jam worse,” Mr Mardlee said. “I know the previous system was strange and it confused tourists. Even I nearly hit a BMW once, but this one is making traffic worse,” he added. Kathu Traffic Police Chief Lt Col Jakkawat Boontawegunsawat explained to the drivers that, “The newest system is in its ‘test phase’ for one month starts on January 15th.”
“After the test passed, we will have a public hearing to get feedback from all people who use the road before making any final changes to the road system.” However, the drivers said they wanted confirmation that the current system will not remain after the test phase is over. They even presented Lt Col Kittipong a draft plan of what they propose the system to be. The plan showed the traffic arrangement as it took in years ago. The traffic headed south along the beach road and north along the parallel main artery Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Road within all streets in between two-ways system, except for Prabaramee Road and Prachanukroh Road at the northern and southern ends of Patong’s central traffic grid. Lt Col Jakkawat said he would arrange for the drivers to join a meeting on Monday attended by officers from Patong Municipality and Kathu Police. He asked them to bring their draft plan and a formal letter requesting the changes to be made so they can present it to Patong Mayor Pian Keesin or his representative at the meeting.
News by Phuket Gazette