New controls on public transport vans in Victory Monument in Bangkok, which will see 100 van stands moved from Monday, have been criticised by van operators, passengers and the public.
“I’m afraid of getting lost because I’m old and cannot get around easily. I don’t know the roads, so if the vans are moved to the new location under the Airport Link Makkasan Station, it will be inconvenient for me,” 70-year-old Thongcheu Chucherd said. She and her husband Manee come to Bangkok from Kanchanaburi regularly to see her doctor at Rajavithi Hospital.
“The van now drops us in front of the hospital. But if the stand is moved, then rural people who know little about the roads in Bangkok, like us, will have to allow for more time,” Manee said, adding that they leave their home at 3am in order to make it to the hospital queue early.
A route 58 (Victory Monument-Bang Na) driver Khaneung Naksorn said the move would affect passengers who can now just walk down from the BTS station to get a van. “The new location is farther away, so it will be very inconvenient,” he said, adding that he did not think it would solve the traffic problems. He said vans could park for no more than 20 minutes anyway as they all had timetables to follow. Relocating the vans may also create traffic congestion elsewhere.
Massupa Klinkhajorn, who operates a Min Buri-bound van, said there were already traffic problems at the Airport Link Station, so adding a large number of vans there would only make things worse.
Another van operator, Prapaspol Rattanachot, was not sure if moving the stand would solve traffic jams at Victory Monument, which he believed was most likely caused by buses. He said Makkasan was 7km from Victory Monument and most lanes there were one way, which would make things tough for passengers. So, there was a lot of uncertainty if the move would succeed.