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

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.

By Premkamon 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.

Pauly44 | 25 July 2017 - 16:43:09

Jor 12; for such a "wordly" figure such as yourself how is it you cannot comprehend a simple comment / point of view in direct contrast to your own, mmm?? My opinion of you is very simply derived from your wacky comments thus I am not at all surprised you are gaining all of your infinite wisdom from penniless backpackers...

Jor12 | 25 July 2017 - 11:54:54

BenPendejo...it's is precisely the point given that you say, "...me shining yet another light on the fact that the BIBs are corrupt to the core." That for starters is incorrect and a libelous statement. 

Next is, ..."that they disproportionately target farangs at vehicle checkpoints...are at the core of most things wrong in Phuket/Thailand" again wrong and commentators...

Jor12 | 25 July 2017 - 11:35:42

Pauly44...Sympathy? of what exactly? Given that you know nothing about me, I don't know how you arrive at your conclusion that I have "lost touch with reality or been shunned by first world societies." Pretty much absurd.

Unless you haven't noticed the world has become smaller in terms of travel times and affordability. Education has been a key. Younger people "backpacker...

Eagle | 25 July 2017 - 11:32:33

Pendejo,if someone doesnt complain all the time about the job the "BIBs"are doing or not doing,doesnt mean they agree or holding them in high esteem!And contrary to you i am quite happy with my-as you call it-"meaningless life",whereas you ,as it seems,can get the only satisfaction in grumbling about everything.That's what i call a sad life.Same as the troll with the no.44 ...

skip | 25 July 2017 - 09:06:58

i hope the tuk tuk"s force a mexican stand off and get their arses kicked by a few RPG"S. Seriously, i dont think anything will happen as half the local army personnel are related to the tuk tuk "family". There is no solution as the corruption and cronyism is so ingrained in phuket only a civil war will end it. Hopefully that will eventuate on august 3rd but highly unlikely.

BenPendejo | 24 July 2017 - 22:51:52

So Eagle/Joe 12/Jor12, by me shining yet another light on the fact that the BIBs are corrupt to the core and that they disproportionately target farangs at vehicle checkpoints, you assume that I am feeling persecuted, and you arrogantly suggest that maybe I should consider leaving.  First, the checkpoints don't directly affect me at all since I am licensed and legal and over-insured ...plus I ...

Pauly44 | 24 July 2017 - 19:15:00

Blah Blah of course same old from you Eagle, strange you're quoting comments from the past, tourism revenue is of course always welcome in my country but is not a major source & is received in a friendly law abiding manner unlike,,,it's true Thailand will always have it's problems of which there are many & which you always seem to fail to acknowledge. I don't complain, mere...

Eagle | 24 July 2017 - 17:33:05

Pauly44,comment from 13.22.Of course in your country every foreigner gets treated like a friend and nobody would ever think of money making from tourists.By the way,BenPendejo wrote a half year ago that the wheels are in motion to leave this place,wondering what takes him so long.And Pauly,if you think some people lost touch with reality,may i remind you that Thailand with all his problems is in S...

swerv | 24 July 2017 - 15:49:08

Jimbobwalton: I am the same, i avoid Patong like the plague and have not used a tuk tuk for about 19 years...and yes there weren't that many around then.
When i have been in a position of going from one place to another in Patong...i walk.
Can't stand the place myself, full of undesirables. Thai's and farang.

Jor12 | 24 July 2017 - 15:38:52

CaptainJack69...I find ematt's comments far from "vapid" in that he has an extremely valid point and relevant. One only has to read his (and your) comments that clearly indicate a distaste for Thailand and so I too wonder, why on earth you would want to live here. In other words it's typical of the usual neo colonialists commentary and a hankering for the ways of "good old c...

Pauly44 | 24 July 2017 - 15:24:19

Standard fare Captainjack from the don't like Thailand leave brigade; aka ematt, jor 12, eagle and the rest of sympathizers, it's the only come back available to them as they've lost touch with reality or been shunned by first world societies.

CaptainJack69 | 24 July 2017 - 14:37:18

@ematt: No matter how valid your point may be, please refrain from vapid comments like \"maybe time [for you] to leave\". This is trolling and achieves nothing.

ematt | 24 July 2017 - 14:15:41

Ben - Regarding " just want to do checkpoints where they can take farangs money", the vast majority of checkpoint money is collected from Thais (no helmet, no insurance, etc).  I'm just curious, do you feel personally persecuted here in Thailand? If so, maybe time to leave? Just sayin'...

Pauly44 | 24 July 2017 - 13:22:03

Discover Thainess; Mr Jaroen lives in Thailand where it is apparently standard practice to fight with farang customers and farang are only there to drop off their hard earned dollars to those nice people before swiftly departing, didn't you know?

Su Yu2 | 24 July 2017 - 11:01:18

There will be a road blockade or two by the taxi drivers as this is their standard response. But this time no compromises please. The Army needs to take charge here.


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