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Phuket: Kata/karon Tuk-Tuk Drivers: ' We Will Block The Road'

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Phuket: Kata/Karon tuk-tuk drivers: 'We will block the road'
Naraporn Tuarob

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Sommart Homwaan, leader of the KTG.

PHUKET: -- Kata and Karon tuk-tuk drivers have confirmed in a meeting they will “definitely” block the road to stop the new airport buses entering Patong, Karon and Kata, and have officially put on record their opposition to the proposed airport bus service.

A meeting was held this afternoon (April 5) and was called by the Kata-Karon Tuk-Tuk Group (KTG) and the Karon Municipality. It was held at the Municipality offices, which were jammed with at least 100 people.

In the hot seat was Teerayut Prasertpol, Chief the Provincial Land Transport Office. He stressed that the plan had been carefully made and would definitely go ahead.

The Kata-Karon tuk-tuk drivers told him that the bus route could be launched, but not into Patong, Karon or Kata. If the service did go ahead to those three places, they would “definitely block the road to stop it”.

Sommart Homwaan, leader of the KTG, said, “We already suffer from the Russian tour companies setting up business here and charging people half the fares we do. If the [airport] bus comes here and is charging B30 from Karon to Patong, how do we make a living?”

Mr Teerayut replied, “This plan was made for benefit of the public. It cannot be stopped. If you want to block the roads we will still continue. We have the support of Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung.”

One tuk-tuk driver responded, “Tell Chalerm that in Phuket we no longer have rice fields. We just have tuk-tuks. This is the only way we can make a living.”

Mr Teerayut said, “I have heard your views and I will take these back to the Governor. Then, we will see what how he will react to this.”

The tuk-tuk drivers said they had already been in touch with their counterparts in Patong to combine forces against the bus service.

Mr Teerayut replied that Mayor Pian Keesin of Patong had already agreed to talk with tuk-tuk drivers in Phuket’s tourist capital to get their agreement to the bus service.

Pol Lt Col Pachai Matthayan of Karon Police Station warned the drivers, “You can protest, but if you break the law by blocking roads, harming people or damaging property, we will enforce the law.”

He added that if there were insufficient officers to prevent law-breaking at the time, photos and videos would be taken and those who were caught on camera committing crimes could expect to be arrested later.

Mayor Pian’s son Phrap, who is president of the Phuket Taxi Federation, which represents about half the tuk-tuks in Patong, told The Phuket News this afternoon, “I can confirm 100 per cent that the tuk-tuk drivers of Patong will not block the road.

“If they did, it would be a bad blow to Patong’s image.”

He had a message for the KTG: “If you want close your town, go ahead, but don’t close mine.”

However, he grumbled that there had not been enough public participation in the decision process. He added, “I wonder who has the concession for this bus service. The whole thing needs to be much more transparent. Why weren’t we [tuk-tuks] informed first?”

Source: http://www.thephuketnews.com/phuket-kata-karon-tuk-tuk-drivers-%E2%80%98we-will-block-the-road%E2%80%99-38446.php

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-- Phuket News 2013-04-05

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Not even the local business owners like the Tuk Tuks. Apparently from the top statements not even the Government does

See how many Thais use Tuk Tuks in BKK? Now compare with how many Thais you saw in Phuket Tuk Tuks

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"One tuk-tuk driver responded, “Tell Chalerm that in Phuket we no longer have rice fields. We just have tuk-tuks. This is the only way we can make a living.”"

If this is true then I can empathize.

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Has that guy seen the film "Argo"?

I know what I would say to him and his mates.

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Whilst they are busy "blocking the road" - the tourist are busy booking holidays to other destinations - that's the tourist with money to spend, not the Chinese, Russians and Indians.

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"One tuk-tuk driver responded, “Tell Chalerm that in Phuket we no longer have rice fields. We just have tuk-tuks. This is the only way we can make a living.”"

If this is true then I can empathize.

I could too, if the person making that statement was born and raised in Phuket and used to have a rice field.

and sold it to live the good life, drinking whiskey & buying shiny things

and driving a tuk-tuk. :) :)

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