Sat, Feb 05, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Freeways packed on second day of Lunar New Year

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff reporter

On a warm, sunny second day of the Lunar New Year yesterday, more drivers hit the road — for sightseeing or so that married women could pay the traditional visit to their parents — than were seen on Thursday.

From early morning, motorists crowded freeways nationwide, leading to reduced driving speeds and traffic jams along several sections of Freeway No. 1.

Starting about 8am, sections between the Jhongli (中壢) and Pingjhen (平鎮) system interchange, Hukou (湖口) and Hsinchu and from Taichung to Changhua all saw heavy traffic, with drivers forced to slow down from 50kph to 30kph, the National Freeway Bureau said.

Freeway No. 3 saw heavy traffic in several sections, especially near Dasi (大溪) and Longtan (龍潭), and popular tourist attractions. Drivers also packed Freeway No. 5 to and from Yilan.

The bureau said it expected the peak traffic hours on the second day of the Year of the Rabbit to extend until 10pm, with sections near Yangmei (楊梅) in Taoyuan to Jhongli on Freeway No. 1 as well as on Freeway No. 5, between the Hsuehshan Tunnel and Toucheng (頭城) expected to be clogged up.

Southbound lanes on freeways gradually saw conditions ease in the afternoon, while northbound lanes in various parts of the country remained congested, it said.

Meanwhile, the Central Weather Bureau said that warm, sunny weather was expected to stay around for the rest of the Lunar New Year holiday for most parts of the nation, with plenty of sun and temperatures up to 27?C or 28?C in the south.

While temperatures would remain chilly in the early mornings and late nights, those in north can look forward to sunny skies and highs in the mid-20s over the next few days, while those in the central regions will see highs of 27?C or 28?C through Monday, the weather bureau said.

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