Freeway traffic spikes at start of holiday weekend

Heavy traffic was seen on Oct. 7 on many parts of the nation's freeways as the four-day National Day holiday kicked off. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Heavy traffic was seen Saturday morning on many parts of the nation’s freeways as the four-day National Day holiday kicked off, according to real-time data from the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau.

The most affected roads are in northern Taiwan, where travel speed on some of the southbound lanes on Freeways No.1, No.3 and No. 5 were less than 40 kilometers per hour.

As of 11 a.m., the most congested road sections on Freeway No. 1 lied between the 55 km to 59 km mark near Zhongli District and 71 km to 99 km mark near northern Hsinchu, where travel speed was around 25 kph.

Traffic condition on Freeway No. 3 was even worse, with road sections on the border between New Taipei and Taoyuan cities (35 km to 68 km mark) recording travel speed that was as low as 11 kph.

The most affected road section on Freeway No. 5 was near the Shiding and Pinglin onramps in New Taipei, where traffic was moving at around 25 kph.

To ease the traffic jam, the bureau has introduced new measures to encourage motorists to travel during off-peak hours. Cheaper off-peak prices at toll stations will be imposed between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 and between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Oct. 10, it said.

During this period, there will be a 30 percent discount on toll fees in both directions of the freeways, it said. 

By Lee Hsin-Yin