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Beaches, transport, security top Phuket tourism development agenda

PHUKET: Preserving the state of Phuket’s beaches, public transport and public security and safety were identified as key issues at the top of the Phuket Governor’s agenda in safe-guarding the island’s long-term prospects as a major tourism destination.

tourism, patong, transport, military,


The Phuket News

Tuesday 23 May 2017, 05:56PM


Army Region 4 Deputy Commander Maj Gen Pornsak Poonsawat offered praise for progress on some key issues, but marked more work remained to be done. Photo: PR Dept
Army Region 4 Deputy Commander Maj Gen Pornsak Poonsawat offered praise for progress on some key issues, but marked more work remained to be done. Photo: PR Dept

Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodtong ordered officials to be better armed with information in order to address the key issues at a meeting held at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (May 22).

“I want every one to update the information they have, such as the number of public transport (drivers and vehicles) and information about the beaches in their areas, so they can come up with effective solutions to the problems they are facing,” Gov Norraphat told a bevy of high-ranking officials at the meeting.

Also present was Army Region 4 Deputy Commander Maj Gen Pornsak Poonsawat, who offered praise for progress on some key issues, but marked more work remained to be done.

“In the past three months, good progress has been made on several key issues that affect tourism. For this I have to thank every officer involved for doing a good job,” he said.

Gen Ponsak noted that progress was being made in clearing Surin Beach of any “encroachers”.

The beach is to be maintained in an appropriate manner to honour the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who graced the sands there on March 9, 1959, Gen Pornsak said.

“Nobody is allowed to ‘take benefit’ (sic) in the area. Now this is in the process of law enforcement,” he said.

Regarding other beaches in Phuket, Gen Pornsak noted, “Eight beaches have been set with 10% zones (where vendors may operate). The other beach is Bang Tao Beach, which is now undergoing the process of setting out an area for people (vendors) affected from the arrangement (now banned from serving on the sand).”

following up on his promise to tackle tuk-tuks, taxis, and car and motorbike rental operators commandeering parking spaces along the Patong beachfront (see story here), Gen Pornsak noted, “On May 24 (tomorrow), there will be a meeting about public transport parking area.”

C and C Marine

Gen Pornsak was vague in his description of the meeting, without clarifying whether the meeting would include all “public transport” operators on the island, or just those in Patong.

However, Phuket Vice Governor Siwaporn Chuasawad noted, “There are 74 parking points for public transport vehicles. These areas will be painted to make them different (from parking spaces available to the public).”

Of high importance at the meeting was the issue of “public transport” drivers’ uniforms, for which Gen Pornsak was happy to report that the issue was “90% done”.

Apparently Phuket’s so-called “public transport” drivers** are unable to buy their own uniform shirts – and so the state-run Government Savings Bank will donate 10,000 shirts to the cause.

“The Government Savings Bank supported (the project by providing) 10,000 shirts for public transport drivers,” Vice Governor Siwaporn confirmed.

“At Phuket International Airport, more than 800 taxi drivers have been checked to ensure they wear the correct uniforms, and the problem of taxi drivers taking passengers not from the counter has been solved,” she added.

Regarding security at Phuket’s key tourism portal, V/Gov Siwaporn said, “Phuket International Airport security is at Level 3+”. More officers have been posted there and security officers continually carry out random checks.”

 

** All “public transport” options throughout Phuket are privately operated for profit. The only government-run service in Phuket are the iconic pink Po Thong buses operating in and around Phuket Town.

 

 

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Christy Sweet | 24 May 2017 - 17:09:45

Yes, by all means the shirts drivers wear is of utmost importance in a nation that values aesthetics over substance. 

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Kurt | 24 May 2017 - 14:09:27

I suggest that Phuket Governor once a week at unannounced times make 'flash visit' to all beaches and pass by many not working traffic lights as possible, just with a driver and a secretary.
Than Governor can see the real Phuket, not the Phuket just brushed up for his announced visits, not surrounded by many officials who just block his view.

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Kurt | 24 May 2017 - 13:16:44

Farangswed: Traffic lights on Phuket, at least in the chalong/rawai/naiharn area were never installed for road safety.

The traffic light installation at Chalong Circle, many years ago, did cost a fortune, was a enormous budget.
Sadly they did not work properly 1 single day, and a few months later they were silently removed. But the budget was earned.

That is why in Naiharn/rawai they are just flashing, red or yellow.
They were installed for 'budget', meaning?
Last year in front of Rawai Orbor Tor was a deadly road accident exactly at traffic light point. A bus run over a motorbike. Traffic lights were not working.
Today they are not working.
Not even a Rawai Mayor who 'orders' the traffic lights working properly in Rawai/Naiharn. 
He sees the dysfunctional every day when he goes to his office!
No learning curve, no development.
You have to be careful, you are on your own out there on the Phuket roads.
Road safety talks by officials are lip service, reality you see at traffic light points, even in front of a mayor office Rawai.
There it took a human life last year at not operational traffic lights junction.

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Kurt | 24 May 2017 - 12:27:28

Phuket so called " public transport drivers" unable to buy a shirt? Hahaha.
Nice joke.
Every day they need a clean fresh shirt, so how many shirts are supplied to each of these poor fellows.
Laying down in their sala's make the shirts dirty.
See their houses were they live, with 3 cars in front. a tuktuk, a 'taxi', and a private car.
Do thai officials really think the public believe all their nonsense?
I still can not park at for me appointed parking spots.
Still tuk tuk drivers tell me not to park there. ( is for other tuk tuk friend only).

And I fully agree with BenPendejo. 
Suring beach is the worse trash beach on Phuket. Oh, and don't forget the still running illegal polluted waist water released at Surin Beach.
The way Phuket officials talk about Surin Beach, to honor His Majesty the late King, and what they really very different in negative way do, is a shame.
Governor, the Phuket officials responsible for Surin Beach do not honor the late King! Just lies and bla bla.
A disgrace.

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BenPendejo | 23 May 2017 - 19:54:37

"The beach is to be maintained in an appropriate manner to honor the late King...".  Surin beach remains a disgrace.  Mr. Governor, please come down the entrance at the south end of the beach...it is Ma-Ann's trash collection area, so the first thing visitors see is fetid bags of rotting trash.  Continue down the driveway to see more bags of trash, downed cables and rubble, all of which has been there for over a year.  Thailand should be embarrassed, and to hold this area in honor of the great King is disgraceful.  Clean Surin up NOW...and maybe you should start with the responsible official that allowed it to get to the current state, then allow it to stay like it is for so long.

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Discover Thainess | 23 May 2017 - 19:30:35

Where to start ? Taxis and tuktuks are not public as the article clearly states. "Real progress" to tourists and expats on the public transport issue would seem to be actually having some apart from the pink buses. So why not introduce some bus routes, start on the west coast for example. And drivers not. Ring able to afford a shirt? Maybe if they didn't spend all their money on (illegal) flashing disco lights and thunderously loud stereos they could buy some? And the parking spaces? Just move the rental people? Should be easy? And do we really need taxis parked all the way down beach road and 2nd road? Surely that's easy enough to move them?

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Farangswed | 23 May 2017 - 19:28:15

But traffic lights in Patong for ex  no high issue??   So tourist can cross road with some safety?? 
1 year now put up the lights but jeep them closed  is just stupid & ignorance to the tourists 

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Asterix | 23 May 2017 - 18:46:44

In my opinion and many residents in Phuket, Thais and foreigners alike, would may say that Phuket does not have "Public Transport" as it is understood around the world, excepted few Pink Buses in Phuket town and navettes from Phuket International airport.
All other types of transport such are regular songtaews, tuk-tuks, taxis are in the hands of clans and cartels which are fighting each others on regular basis and definitely all of them are against a large mass transit transport for the whole Phuket Province.
This is the main point why Phuket owns the record of the worst traffic accidents and deaths per inhabitant around the world and we may not be proud of it.

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