Tens of thousands return to capital after long weekend

Tens of thousands return to capital after long weekend

Tens of thousands of people on Tuesday hit the road and thronged provincial bus terminals to return to Bangkok and other major cities at the end of the long weekend.

Reports from Nakhon Ratchasima said Mittraphap Road was choked with huge amounts of vehicles. A long line of people waiting to buy bus tickets was also seen at the province's bus terminal.

Many people were unable to buy bus tickets and were left stranded at the terminal as operators had to limit passenger capacity to 30 from 38 to prevent coronavirus infections.

All passengers were required to have their body temperature checked, wear a face mask and use the Thai Chana app to check in and out of terminals.

Heavy traffic on major provincial roads was also reported across the country.

In Lampang province, a line of vehicles stretching for several kilometres was spotted on the Chiang Mai-Lampang Super Highway, prompting traffic police to create special lanes to relieve the congestion.

The Transport Company (Bor Kor Sor) said it expected more than 65,000 bus passengers to arrive at three terminals in Bangkok -- Chatuchak, Ekamai and Borommaratchonnani -- yesterday.

According to Chaiwat Tongkamkoon, permanent secretary for transport, more than 7.2 million people boarded public transport vehicles between Friday and yesterday, 1.55% higher than the Transport Ministry had initially predicted.

In terms of travel by private cars, more than 10.6 million vehicles entered and left Bangkok between Friday and yesterday, 11.36% lower than expected.

Mr Chaiwat said there were 284 accidents between Friday and yesterday on road networks under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport, with 40 people dead and 226 others injured.

Most of the accidents were caused by speeding, said Mr Chaiwat.

He said transport authorities and police officers were deployed to direct traffic and enforce road regulations, aided by traffic surveillance cameras and drones positioned along major roads and intersections.

The permanent secretary said he had also asked public transport service providers to ensure their services ran on time and that no passenger was left stranded at terminals, stations and airports.

Disease control measures have also been strictly implemented.

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