BANGKOK — Commuters should expect lengthier travel times on several major roads as more than 3,000 delegates will arrive in the capital for the ASEAN Summit starting Thursday.
Expressways linking the city to the two international airports and the meeting venue at Muang Thong Thani are among the routes to be briefly disrupted from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, when motorcades of VIPs and delegates will travel on throughout the day, according to the police.
Several roads around downtown hotels are also being affected. The list includes part of Rama IV, Ratchadapisek, Sukhumvit, Ploenchit, Witthayu, Rama I, Ratchadamri, Silom, and Charoenkrung Road.
The police advised commuters to plan alternative routes, spare more travel times, or use public transportation instead. They also suggested detours around the affected roads, which can be found in the interactive map below.
Red lines are routes to avoid, while green lines are alternative routes suggested. In routes where red and green lines overlapped, commuters should avoid elevated tollways and travel on at grade roads instead.
The cabinet also approved additional holidays for all government offices in Bangkok and Nonthaburi on Nov. 4 to Nov. 5 in an effort to lessen congestion. A number of schools, state enterprises, and private companies followed suit and shut their doors on those days.
In a related development, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Thursday that he has ordered the police and armed forces to provide full security support for the summit.
More than 17,000 security personnel have been deployed, while a full scale drill was conducted on Tuesday.
“We are well-prepared this time,” deputy prime minister Prawit Wongsuwan said. “It will not repeat the same mistake we did for the ASEAN Summit in 2009.”
In 2009, the 14th ASEAN Summit was abruptly canceled after anti-government Redshirt protesters stormed into the meeting venue in Pattaya. Eleven leaders who led the march are expected to hear their verdicts in their cases at Pattaya court today.