Good weather may add to New Year travel woes


The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff — The good weather forecasted by the Central Weather Bureau for the New Year holiday season will likely mean a high degree of traffic jams on the nation’s major highways starting this afternoon, the National Freeway Bureau said yesterday. Feb. 5 and 6 are the two days during this year’s 6-day holiday period that motorists will most likely experience the heaviest traffic volume, with the highest likelihood of gridlocks from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for south-bound traffic, and 2 p.m. to late evening for north-bound traffic.

But the exceptionally good weather, if the Central Weather Bureau forecast pans out, means the traffic jams could be even worse than that, the National Freeway Bureau warned, and motorists are advised to watch out for the first wave of heavy traffic beginning this afternoon at 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. The expected heavy traffic volume also means a shortage of parking spaces at major tourist sites. To curb the parking anxiety, the Tourism Bureau has contracted tour buses and connection shuttles to limit the parking problem or eliminate driving all together. Travel by trains is another possibility. According to an investigation last night, seats were still available on all major lines as well as on the high-speed rail network. Highway buses have also placed extra buses on standby in case of unexpected passenger demand. Drivers are recommended to take the less traveled secondary routes like Highway 1 to Taichung, Highway 3 for long north-south through travel and local routes during the six-day period, or take advantage of the toll-free periods between midnight and 7 a.m. in the morning from Feb. 2 to Feb. 7. For full details about traffic conditions, public transportation, seat availabilities, road closures, etc. please check out the special New Year Travel section on the Ministry of Transportation and Communications website at www.motc.gov.tw before making travel plans this holiday season.