New bus terminal to open in May despite objections
PHUKET: Phuket’s second bus terminal is set to open by the start of May and will be run by the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) after the Rassada Municipality washed its hands of the whole project.
Wednesday 14 March 2012, 02:07PM
Suratin Lian-udom, Mayor of Rassada Municipality, said the Municipality did not want to run the terminal because of the costs involved, and he personally did not want the terminal to go ahead because people living in the area were against it.
“It will be dangerous if the traffic is not well managed, and the terminal will have a big impact on local residents in terms of traffic congestion,” he said.
Mr Suratin and around 400 people living in the area earlier signed a letter of protest and presented it to the Darmongtham Center in an attempt to stop the Highways Department cutting through the median strip in the road to allow buses leaving the terminal to get onto the road easily.
The group also sent a representative to the Nakhon Sri Thammarat Administrative Court with a request that the court rule that the median strip work was illegal because no public hearing was held before it began.
Mr Suratin is still waiting for the results of this, and said he believed the new traffic lights would not help ease traffic congestion because they were only 60 metres away from existing ones – far too close, he said.
Silapachai Jarukasemrattana, deputy permanent secretary for the Transport Ministry, confirmed the PLTO will run the new terminal, which was completed in 2009 but has sat idle since then while a management option was worked out. It is not known if or when the Rassada Municipality will take over management of the terminal.
“It is a waste of budget if this terminal is not opened. This new bus terminal will solve the traffic problems connected to the first bus terminal [on Phang Nga Rd] in Phuket Town,” Mr Silapachai said.
The new terminal, on Thepkrassatri Road north of Phuket Town, will be used for long-distance bus services such as Phuket to Bangkok. The Phang Nga Rd terminal will continue to be used for local bus services, including the Phuket International Airport bus service and the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (OrBorJor) local pink buses, Mr Silapachai said.
Teerayut Prasertpol, chief of the PLTO, said the new terminal would open at the start of May.
“The Highways Department has almost completed the gap in the median strip in the road next to the entrance of the bus station, and the new traffic lights have been installed so that north-bound buses do not have to make dangerous U-turns.
“There will also be an OrBorJor bus service, which will transfer passengers between the two terminals.”