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Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha recently expressed support for the construction of bicycle lanes in all corners of the country.
On October 3, General Prayut said during his weekly TV programme “Returning Happiness to the People” that he wished more people would pay attention to cycling for exercise. He hailed it as a good form of exercise and a good way of commuting on a daily basis.
He asserted that the government is planning a measure to support the creation of safe bike routes for cyclists and to expand the coverage of such routes in all regions. The routes can be linked together for commuting, tourism or exercise purposes. He added cycling can help the country save on energy use and lower the level of pollution on the streets.
The premier said the Ministry of Interior will be responsible for coordinating the efforts on a provincial level, and local units are urged to realize the projects on a larger scale.
Cyclist groups have welcomed General Prayut’s announcement, saying the promotion of cycling is long overdue.
The announcement follows the “Car Free Day” event in Bangkok where Silom road was closed to cars, trucks and buses, except bicycles, for the weekend to encourage the use of public transport.
Earlier, Chiang Mai’s Road Safety Center announced plans to create bike routes as a way to promote tourism in this northern province. The bicycle trails to be created will be divided into two parts, one for tourism and the other for general travel. Initially, three main routes are being considered, one covers all the main roads in the city, one goes around the moat, and the other passes by tourist attractions.