Thu, Feb 19, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Traffic smooth on first day of holiday

ON THE MOVE:The National Freeway Bureau is urging drivers to download its Highways 1968 app to receive road condition updates before they leave their homes

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ming-wen, left, and Chiayi County Commissioner Helen Chang, third left, yesterday welcome home-bound travelers with Lunar New Year greetings at the Taiwan High-Speed Rail’s Chiayi Station.

Photo: CNA

Traffic flow on the nation’s highways was smooth yesterday on the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday, with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport appearing slightly less crowded than the previous day.

As of 11am yesterday, the day people usually travel to their hometown for family reunion dinners, 870,000 vehicles had flooded the freeways, but traffic moved at an average speed of between 70kph and 80kph, National Freeway Bureau official Lu Wen-yu (呂文玉) said.

Sections between the Changhua and Puyan (埔鹽) and between the Shueishang (水上) and Chiayi system interchanges on Freeway No. 1 were the only exceptions, with drivers being forced to slow down to between 30kph and 50kph.

However, congestion at these sections eased later on, Lu said.

The traffic volume between 11pm on Tuesday and 6am yesterday was about 440,000 vehicles, about 2.8 times the annual average of 160,000 vehicles, the bureau said.

“Today’s [yesterday’s] traffic volume is expected to increase by 20 percent and reach 2.1 million to 2.3 million in total,” Lu said.

The bureau said heavy traffic is predicted from tomorrow to Sunday, with traffic volume on the southbound lanes expected to exceed 1.6 million cars today, 3.15 million in both directions on Saturday and 1.85 million on northbound lanes on Sunday.

It encouraged drivers to download its Highways 1968 (高速公路1968) app on their mobile devices to receive the latest traffic updates before hitting the road.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport reported a slight decrease in the number of passengers arriving and departing yesterday, from more than 100,000 on Tuesday to about 97,520.

The airport said that 73 more flights departed yesterday to cope with the increased demand for travel during the holiday, during which a total of 1,430 additional flights will be provided.

“Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight’s scheduled takeoff time to avoid unwanted delays during the check-in process,” the airport said in a statement.

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