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August 3 set as final deadline for Patong taxis to return parking spaces to public

PHUKET: Army demanded tuk-tuk and taxi drivers in Patong vacate most of currently occupied parking spaces by August 3.

patongtransportmilitaryPremkamon Ketsara

Saturday 22 July 2017, 06:20PM


The initial plan presupposed slashing the number of taxi ranks in Patong from current 81 to just 21. Photo: Premkamon Ketsara

The initial plan presupposed slashing the number of taxi ranks in Patong from current 81 to just 21. Photo: Premkamon Ketsara

Royal Thai Army confirmed it will not suspend any further the implementation of its plan to slash the number of parking spaces occupied by taxis in Patong and give the parkings back to residents and guest of Phuket’s key tourism town. The announcement was made on Friday, July 21.

“The new regulations regarding public parking spaces will be enforced from Aug 3. We are not listening to any suggestion from taxi and tuk-tuk drivers anymore. Before we tried to reach a compromise with them but they discarded every suggestion,said Lt Col Surasak Phuengyam, Deputy Commander of the 25th InfantryRegiment.

I believe the Provincial Office will make an official announcement soon. We have to inform operators before the enforcement of the new regulations. After they are enforced, actions will be taken against all violators without any exceptions,” Lt Col Surasak added.

The initial plan presupposed slashing the number of taxi ranks in Patong from current 84 to just 21. This idea was strongly opposed by drivers who suggested either a less radical cut or fewer but bigger parking spaces for their vehicles. The final decision is yet to be announced by provincial administration, Lt Col Surasak said.

“Many local hotels and shops did not agree with the suggestion from operators that they voiced on July 3. At that time they asked to have 49 parking spaces to which we answered by allowing them three more. However, the Provincial Office has to think about this again,” Lt Col Surasak said.

The Phuket News' sister paper Khao Phuket talked to several taxi drivers who emphasised that slashing down the number of parking spaces will have negative consequences for everybody, not only them.

“This decision will affect us greatly. I have been living in Patong and doing this job for over 30 years and I never faced the problem of officials lessen possibilities for people who already live hand to mouth,” said Mr Gob Chailert, a tuk-tuk driver stationed at Merlin Hotel.

His fellow driver Somphoat Jaroenram stationed at Holiday Inn Hotel pointed out that fewer parking spaces for taxis may result in vehicles having to cruise around the town creating traffic jams.

The third driver, Jaroen Chueayuan from Lamai Hotel, didn't elaborate on the possible effects of returning parking spaces to public but instead shared his vision of what the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers community is like. Mr Jaroen reminded that Patong tuk-tuk drivers are like a family.

“We are doing our job like we are relatives. We never fight with each other. I admit that some taxi drivers can fight with their customers, but it is normal, because there are both good people and bad people in every trade,” said Mr Jaroen.

 

 

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Eagle | 27 July 2017 - 17:00:39

44,after you tried both already,its your choice of course.Personally i have no experience with both of them.

Pauly44 | 27 July 2017 - 16:50:43

Eagle; You and Jor 12 may enjoy learning from backpackers, I myself like the bar set just a little higher, nothing wrong with that scene but I'm just a bit older with a tad more life experience. Judging by your comments I can see why both of you would be learning from them though & BTW, I prefer a golden spoon in my mouth than someone elses d@#$!

Eagle | 27 July 2017 - 15:49:32

Of course did the troll no.44,who was born with a golden spoon in his mouth,never do a backpack trip!Maybe one of the reason why his view of the world is so limited!Funny is that someone who looks down to those people and in some cases their limited budget,complains always about high prices he get charged when using a taxi or when entering some water-park.

Pauly44 | 27 July 2017 - 14:47:15

My My Ive hit a nerve with tweedle dee & tweedle dum with the backpacker comment, must have been too close to home for them.

Pauly44 | 27 July 2017 - 14:45:54

Jor 12; get your facts right I never said what you claim, that may have been Rorri, big night at the bar last night??, backpackers are by very definition travelling on a budget, tell me sherlock if you had the means would you be travelling around 3rd world countries on buses with all your belongings in a backpack staying in hostels?? What on earth for?? Please cease offending those with intelligen...

Eagle | 26 July 2017 - 15:09:07

"Penniless backpackers"-pure prejudice!Not a surprise that this statement comes from the troll no.44.

Jor12 | 26 July 2017 - 11:44:09

Paully44...where did I say that I ..."know the mindset of all these "penniless" backpackers (to use your incorrect description?). Most happen to be University educated, some Doctors (serving with Médecins sans Frontières) one an orthopaedic surgeon recently killed trekking in Nepal. Some still work while backpacking, using modern technology. It doesn't take much to welcome peo...

Rorri_2 | 26 July 2017 - 06:31:32

Jor12, I must say, I am impressed, now you say you know the mindset of all these "penniless" backpackers, as well as their level of "intelligence" truly impressive, even a psychologist would not be game enough to say that. I think, once again, you are overstepping the mark, simply to raise yourself above others.

Jor12 | 25 July 2017 - 22:28:26

Paully44...I have comprehended well and replied cogently to your incorrect statements. I am not really concerned about your opinions of me as they are irrelevant. 

These so called "penniless backpackers" are highly intelligent individuals, some being extremely wealthy in their own right. They don't moan, grizzle, or critical of their host country, or of others because they are min...

Pauly44 | 25 July 2017 - 16:58:19

Rich 44; I believe Eagle is having a dig at you.

 

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