The new M-Flow system was expected to speed up traffic at the four gateways of Motorway 9 after it was launched on February 15. Instead, it resulted in long lines of vehicles as motorists scrambled to shift to cash-paying gates or gates using the M-Pass and Easy-Pass system when they arrived at the Thanyaburi 1 and 2 and Thap Chang 1 and 2 gateways.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Tuesday that he has instructed the Highways Department to tackle the issue urgently and launch an awareness campaign for motorists to register for the new M-Flow system.
Sarawut Songsiwilai, director-general of the Highways Department, said motorists’ grievances were not being ignored and that the department has deployed officials to work with traffic police and rescue volunteers to mitigate traffic congestion at the four gateways.
Apologising for the confusion and congestion, he said the department was taking the following measures:
• Re-adjusting the number of cash-collection, M-Pass and Easy Pass tollgates at the four expressway gateways based on demand.
• Installing signs so motorists can be directed to drive into the correct gates. For instance, those who have registered for the M-Flow system can use the rightmost barrier-free lane, M-Pass and Easy Pass users can take the middle lanes, while cash-paying motorists can use the leftmost ones.
• Traffic barriers and traffic cones will be put up at least one kilometre ahead to prevent motorists from shifting lanes right in front of the tollgates.
• More officials will be deployed to collect tolls at the cash-collection gates to speed up traffic.
• Campaigns will be launched to encourage motorists to register for the M-Flow system with flyers distributed at tollgates and 7-Eleven convenience stores.
Published : February 22, 2022