23 May 2024

Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke offered an assurance today that all construction projects on the Rama 2 Road will be completed next year, after which the traffic gridlock will be substantially eased.

Chai made the statement after he engaged in a social media spat over traffic conditions on Rama 2 road with Move Forward MP for Bangkok, Rukchanok Srinork.

In his “X” post on Monday, Chai said that someone, apparently referring to Rukchanok, asked him whether he knew that traffic on Rama 2 is so “damned” congested.

Chai then claimed to have just used the road, departing from Hua Hin at 9.50am and arriving in Bangkok at about 12.30pm, a journey of about two hours and 40 minutes, concluding that the traffic was not as congested as someone had claimed.

Responding to Chai’s posts, Rukchanok said in her Facebook post yesterday that the government spokesman used the road once and claimed that the traffic was not congested and that someone had tried to distort the facts.

She went on to say that Chai appeared to subscribe to the same logic used by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, when he rode a bike in Chiang Mai one day and then announced that the city’s air was not polluted as widely claimed.

She then challenged Chai to move to stay in Rama 2 area for about a month, to experience the real traffic situation.

“The question is over what people will gain if somebody in the government does not accept that there are problems that they are actually facing every day,” said Rukchanok, who then asked how a problem could be resolved if someone does not accept that it exists.

Chai said today that construction of various projects on Rama 2 Road have been ongoing for about 50 years, but the prime minister has instructed that all the projects must be completed within next year.

Currently, four projects are under construction. These include the Rama 3-Dao Khanong-western Bangkok outer ring road, the Bang Khun Thian-Ekkachai section of Thon Buri-Pak Thor elevated road, the Ekkachai-Ban Paew section of the number 82 motorway and the Ban Paew elevated road in Samut Sakhon province.

Chai said the prime minister has emphasised public safety as a top priority for travellers using Rama 2, which means that construction work must be done between 10pm until 5am of the next morning only.

Overall, he maintains that traffic flow on the road has clearly improved, although there is occasional congestion.