Thailand Cycling Club (TCC) continued to visit government agencies of which the Fifth National Health Assembly (NHA)’s resolution on Systems and Structures for Promotion of Walking and Cycling in Daily Life requires to take actions to promote walking and cycling, making them understand the resolution and discussing how to turn it into practice, especially when the Government Cabinet acknowledged the resolution on November 19, 2013, and assigned relevant agencies to implement it.
On December 6, 2013, a TCC team consisting of Prof. Emeritus Thongchai Panswad Ph.D. (President), Mr. Jamroon Tangpaisarnkit (Advisor and a former Deputy Transport Permanent Secretary), Assistant Prof. Dr. Prapatpong Upala (Committee Member), and Mr. Gawin Chutima (Committee Member) went to visit Ministry of Transport’s Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) and held discussion with Mr. Chaiwat Thongkamkoon, Deputy Director-General of the OTP, and his relevant officials.
Paragraph 1.2 of the resolution states that “Ministry of Transport promotes walking and cycling as a feeder system for public transport and requires all those who wish to take examination for a driving license have knowledge about pedestrians and bicycle users,” and OTP is an agency that links agencies in the ministry together on policy and policy implementation, particularly on feeder system for public transport. It is why TCC made this visit. However, TCC President emphasized that promotion of walking and cycling in daily life is an extensive matter that needs a long time to achieve, not only one or two years, and involves many agencies and sectors of which TCC volunteer to connect them to work together.
The discussion revealed that for the feeder system, the ministry and OTP would stick mainly with the planned ten lines of electric train where facilities would be provided in forms of footpaths, cycle ways and cycle parking, beginning with the Red Line and the Airport Rail Link. As for cycling promotion, the ministry and OTP have developed a separate “Action Plan for Development of Cycle System for Transport in Daily Life”, so that cycling promotion could move forward without having to wait for completion of the electric train system. The plan includes proposed actions in three main areas – infrastructure, laws and regulations, and supports for changes in travelling behaviours.
In conclusion, the OTP Deputy Director-General agreed to form a working group to work on specific action plan for the feeder system and there should not be any problem concerning budget for implementation. It is expected to begin at 1-2 airport rail link stations as model. All stakeholders would get involved from the beginning in all stages, including design, so that the feeder system of walking and cycling would respond to needs of users and satisfy all parties concerned. As a whole, feeder system would be created not only at electric train stations, but also at other stations for trains, buses and boats (piers). He also suggested that this issue should be raised in meeting of a Transport Ministry – Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Committee on Development of Transport Systems in Bangkok.
Reported by Gawin Chutima, Committee Member, Thailand Cycling Club