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Thai king calls for easing traffic jams caused by royal motorcade

Police told to close fewer roads in congested Bangkok

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn heads to the Grand Palace in Bangkok during his coronation in May 2019. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

BANGKOK -- Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn has urged police to ease the road congestion caused by the royal family's motorcades, which add to the difficulty of navigating the traffic-plagued capital.

The king instructed police to cease halting traffic on the opposite side of the road as the motorcades, as well as on bridges and surrounding thoroughfares, a government spokesperson said. The royal motorcades have closed roads to general traffic across a wide area, stopping cars in both travel directions.

The move seeks to reduce traffic jams in Bangkok -- Southeast Asia's second-worst city for congestion after Jakarta, according to digital map company TomTom.

The king acknowledges the traffic congestion issue, the government spokesperson said, in addressing a source of public frustration. At one point, the #royalmotorcade hashtag became a trending topic on social media in Thailand.

These interruptions compound the strain on a transportation system that has been overwhelmed by an increase in cars.

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