PHUKET: The new regulations to access Chalong Pier, a popular Phuket jump-off point for surrounding islands, will take effect on February 15.
Local boat handlers on Saturday demanded unrestricted access to boats moored along the pier (story here
). Government officers did not bow to the demands, but rather offered a compromise of a new fee-system for motorbikes, sidecars and boats.
The deal was struck during a meeting today between the Phuket Marine Office, Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) and the boat handlers.
Motorbike access along the pier will be reserved for Thai nationals who work there, who will be charged a 2-baht fee for parking. Those parked on the pier for more than three hours will be charged 10 baht plus an additional 10 baht per night thereafter, explained PPAO Transportation Division Chief Prasit Yotharak.
“However, anyone, including foreigners, will be allowed to drive a motorbike with a sidecar down the pier to drop off equipment, luggage or goods,” Mr Prasit said.
The access fee will be 100 baht for everyone except local Thai residents of Chalong and Rawai who are working at the pier. These residents will be issued a special access card by the PPAO.
“However, we will not allow sidecars to be parked on the pier. Drivers must unload and leave immediately,” Mr Prasit said.
Tourists and others wanting to access the pier will have to park their vehicle in the parking lot in front.
Motorbike parking in the pier's front parking lot will be free. Car parking will be 20 baht for less than three hours. After that, car owners will be charged 40 baht per night.
“They can then take the local bus down the pier for 10 baht,” said Mr Prasit.
Those at the meeting also agreed to raise mooring fees from 100 baht to 150 baht.
“We will spend the extra 50 baht for garbage management in the area,” Mr Prasit explained.
The overnight fee for Thai-flagged vessels is set at 100 baht per night. However, contracts can be secured for 2,500 baht a month.
Foreign-flagged vessels will be charged 10 baht per foot per night, and no monthly contract option will be offered.
All other fees remain unchanged, Mr Prasit said.
Additionally, it was announced that the PPAO has requested a 6.5 million baht budget to improve and expand the parking area.