Thu, Jan 26, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Traffic controls set to start

By Jenny Chou  /  STAFF REPORTER

To ease traffic congestion during the Lunar New Year holiday, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has announced freeway controls and toll-free periods.

From tomorrow until Feb. 5, tolls will not be collected between 12am and 6am.

The toll-free period extends until 3pm for tomorrow, next Wednesday and the following Saturday, while this Saturday the toll-free period extends until 12pm.

Traffic controls will be apply at all entry points on freeways 1 (Sun Yat-sen Freeway), 2 (CKS airport link) and 3 (Formosa Freeway), while partial controls will apply on entry points on Freeway 5 in Ilan and Taipei counties.

Ministry officials reminded the public that electronic toll collection will not operate during the holiday period.

From Tuesday until the following Thursday, northbound entry points on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway will be closed at Tainan, Shuishang (水上) in Chiayi County, Siluo (西螺) in Yunlin County and Jhongli (中壢) in Taoyuan County, while north and southbound entry points will be closed at the Mingjian (名間) interchange on the Formosa Freeway.

Officials said southbound traffic will be heaviest this Saturday, especially around cities and scenic areas, while for northbound traffic the heaviest days are predicted to be next Wednesday and the following Saturday.

This Saturday, traffic is expected to be especially heavy on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway between 7am and 3pm southbound and northbound between Taoyuan and Jhongli, and southbound between Kaohsiung and Tainan.

On the Formosa Freeway, southbound traffic is expected to be heavy between Ankeng (安坑) and Tucheng (土城), and between Yingge (鶯歌) and Longtan (龍潭), while southbound and northbound traffic is expected to be heavy between Sijhih (汐止) and Sindian (新店).

Officials also expect traffic to be heavy on already opened sections of Freeway 5 between Nangang (南港) and Shihding (石碇) in Taipei County and between Toucheng (頭城) and Suao (蘇澳) in Ilan County.

However, the number of vehicles traveling from Shihding to Pinglin (坪林) will be limited and motorists may be forced to exit at Shihding.

Officials suggested that drivers try routes other than freeways to save time.

They said motorists heading to Changhua, Yunlin and Chiayi counties or points south use the Formosa Freeway as well as highways 1, 3 and 15 (the west coast highway), expressways 61 (the west coast expressway) and 74 (Taichung link), as well as east-west expressways 76 (Changhua), 78 (Yunlin) and 82 (Chiayi).

Between 7am and 12pm this Saturday, only cars with four or more occupants will be allowed access at selected freeway interchanges.

These include southbound entry points on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway between Neihu (內湖) in Taipei City and Changhua, and on the Formosa Freeway between Muzha (木柵) in Taipei City and Siangshan (香山) near Hsinchu.

From 9am to 3pm next Wednesday and the following Saturday, only cars with at least four occupants may use northbound entry points on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway between Kaohsiung and Neili (內壢) in Taoyuan County, or northbound entry points on the Formosa Freeway between Jiouru (九如) in Pingtung County and Dasi (大溪) in Taoyuan County.

Maps showing alternative routes can be obtained free of charge at freeway service stations and police traffic radio stations.

For more information, visit www.freeway.gov.tw or call 0800-008-456.

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