Traffic congestion in Bangkok is apparently skyrocketing due to the ever increasing rate of car ownership, and it appears the Thai capital has had enough, with the local government proposing new measures to restrict and reduce new car sales, according to the Bangkok Post.

Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said that he wants car buyers to be required to show proof that they own a valid parking space before they can purchase a new vehicle. This form of ruling has been implemented in a number of cities around the world, most notably in many parts of Japan.

Other ideas being put forward include the introduction of parking fines in business districts and higher parking fees for spaces in central Bangkok, as well as a number of measures to improve last mile connectivity. The latter include the improvement of bus services, public boats on the city’s numerous rivers and canals, and bicycle lanes.

Additionally, Sukhumbhand also iterated the need for the city’s pavements to be levelled out to facilitate the movement of the disabled and the elderly, as well as the implementation of elevated walkways and other forms of technology in central business areas to draw pedestrians.

However, the governor believes that Bangkok’s congestion problems will only ultimately be solved through the development of self-sufficient satellite cities on the outskirts that will cull the high rate of urban migration from other provinces, as people won’t need to enter the capital to work.

Thai traffic

Sukhumbhand added that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) doesn’t have the authority to add such a large-scale development plan, and wants the central government to address the issue. “Questions must be raised as to whether the problems will be solved if authority over traffic management remains scattered among various agencies,” he said.

The city government has served up some disturbing statistics: of the 17 million people that travel around Bangkok every day, only 40% use public transport. The Thai ministry of land transport said that there were 8.9 million cars registered in the capital as of August this year – according to the BMA, this outnumbers the 1.2 million population living in the city as of 2012.

More worryingly, Sukhumbhand claimed BMA estimates the number of cars in the city to rise to 10 million by 2029, with commuters making 22 million trips a day. He added that Bangkok’s traffic woes will only pile up without a concrete plan to tackle the issue.

“It will have increasingly negative consequences on people’s daily commutes, their livelihoods, the economy and the environment.” he said. “Mass public transport must be developed to serve people in their daily lives, while the public must be urged to use the public transport system more.”

The main transport system, said Sukhumbhand, is the main cure, adding that commuter rail services in Bangkok are expected to increase fivefold by 2029, covering almost 300 km.