Bangkok will enforce new tour bus regulations starting Thursday

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BANGKOK, Thailand – Bangkok City Hall will enforce new regulations starting Thursday to try to curb the influx and parking of buses and vans carrying sightseers to tourist destinations around the Grand Palace in Phra Nakhon District.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Pol Gen Assawin Kwanmuang announced the plan on Tuesday, after a meeting with executive team members of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) aimed at reorganising the traffic flow in Bangkok’s old quarter, Rattanakosin Island.

Under the new rules, the BMA will ask tour operators and travel agencies to spend a maximum of 10 minutes per vehicle in dropping off or collecting tourists at the venue. Drivers then will be directed to take their vehicle to park at the old southern bus terminal on Boromratchonnanee Road in the Pinklao area.

The defunct terminal would be used as a temporary parking space for tourist buses and vans until further notice, Pol Gen Assawin said.

A survey found about 800 tourist buses and 500 vans used daily to take tourists to the Grand Palace, and then pick them up. Many parked in the vicinity of the attraction. This influx of tourist vehicles worsened traffic congestion and increased air pollution in the area.

Heavy buses could also result in subsidence of roads, Pol Gen Assawin said.

The Rattanakosin Island traffic plan is part of Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra’s policy to reorganise the capital.