Traffic flows smoothly on first day of lunar holiday

CLEAR SKIES::Aside from smooth road traffic, flights between Taiwan proper and the outlying islands proceeded on schedule thanks to fog-free weather

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Thu, Feb 03, 2011 - Page 2

Traffic on the nation’s highways flowed smoothly on the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday yesterday, with reports of delays at only a couple of southbound sections, the National Freeway Bureau said.

To ease traffic on Lunar New Year’s Eve, the bureau closed the toll booths from midnight to 7am and executed its high occupancy vehicle (HOV) policy from 7am to noon.

Bureau statistics showed average driving speeds on the southbound section near the Changhua System Interchange on Freeway No. 1 were below 40kph at about 7am, the only section that reported slow traffic in the morning.

While traffic volume on southbound lanes rose slightly after the HOV hours ended, drivers were still able to drive on most sections at 80kph or above.

Sections between the Jhongli (中壢) and Pinjheng (平鎮) System Interchange and between the Changhua (彰化) and Puyan (埔鹽) System Interchange on Freeway No. 1 were the only exceptions, with drivers being forced to slow down to between 60kph and 80kph.

The bureau said approximately 1.5 million cars had used the freeways as of 6pm, down 8 percent from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said flights between Taiwan proper and outlying islands were on schedule thanks to fogless weather.

Civil Aeronautics Administration Director General Yin Chen-pong (尹承蓬) said all passengers, including those on waiting lists, were able to board flights on schedule.

For today, the bureau said congestion was expected on several freeway sections. Sections between the Taoyuan and Pinjheng System Interchange on Freeway No. 1, between Shuling (樹林) and Longtan (龍潭) on Freeway No. 3 and southbound lanes from Nangang (南港) to the Hsuehshan Tunnel on Freeway No. 5 could see congestion, Yin said.

Drivers are advised to check traffic updates on the Web site of the National Freeway Bureau at before hitting the roads.

People in the north can expect cold and rainy weather until tomorrow, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday, adding that those in central and southern Taiwan would see a mixture of cloudy and sunny skies.