8.4 million expected road trips for the May 1st holiday weekend

by Lorraine Williamson
8.4 million road trips

The Spanish Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) has announced the commencement of a special traffic operation to manage the expected 8.4 million trips during the May 1st holiday weekend. Starting from 3.00 pm today (Tuesday, April 30th) the operation will continue until midnight on Sunday, May 5th.

The operation will be particularly intense in the Central Zone as May 1st and 2nd are holidays in the Community of Madrid, with May 3rd being a non-teaching day.

To ensure safety on the roads during this period, the DGT emphasises the importance of zero distractions, zero alcohol and drugs, adherence to speed limits on each type of road, and the use of mandatory safety systems.

8.4 million road trips

During these days, when a total of 8.4 million road trips are expected, the DGT will have all its resources available, including human resources such as traffic officers from the Guardia Civil, staff from Traffic Management Centres, helicopter patrols, and personnel responsible for equipment maintenance and road measures installation. Additionally, technical resources such as fixed and mobile speed control radars, helicopters, drones, cameras, and disguised vans to monitor mobile phone use and seat belt compliance will be utilised.

Cogesa Expats

To facilitate traffic flow, especially in the busiest areas, the DGT will implement a series of traffic regulation, organisation, and surveillance measures. This includes the installation of reversible and additional lanes with cones during peak traffic hours to increase road capacity and alleviate congestion. Also, alternative routes will be established to avoid driving through the centre of the Peninsula, which is expected to have the highest traffic volume during this period.

Suspension of roadworks

Furthermore, roadworks will be suspended to prevent congestion resulting from reduced available lanes and to improve road safety for both drivers and workers. The celebration of sports events and other activities that occupy the road will be limited, and the circulation of trucks in general, as well as those transporting certain goods, will be restricted on certain stretches, dates, and times.

Traffic forecast

  • On Tuesday, April 30th, significant outbound traffic from major urban centres is expected in the early afternoon, particularly between 4.00 pm and 11.00 pm.
  • On May 1st, high traffic is anticipated on access roads to the Community of Madrid, especially between 9.00 am and 2.00 pm. Additionally, local short-distance trips to coastal and mountain areas, as well as leisure destinations near urban areas, will contribute to traffic congestion. Return traffic is expected late in the afternoon in all Autonomous Communities except Madrid.
  • May 2nd will witness usual inbound and outbound movements to and from major urban centres, except in the Community of Madrid where local short-distance trips to recreational areas near urban centres will predominate.
  • On May 3rd, regular inbound and outbound traffic to major urban centres is expected during the day, with outbound traffic towards coastal and second home areas increasing between 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
  • On May 4th, traffic problems may arise in destination areas, particularly in coastal towns and coastal roads, due to local short-distance trips.
  • Return traffic will begin in the early afternoon of May 5th, with congestion expected between 1.00 pm and 11.00 pm on major roads, highways, and city entrances. Measures for traffic organisation and regulation will be implemented in the afternoon and evening in Andalucia, Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Madrid, and Murcia to facilitate city entry.

A call for prudence

In light of the increasing road fatalities, which have seen a 16% rise compared to the same period last year, the DGT emphasises responsible driving behaviour. They urge drivers to abstain from distractions, alcohol, and drugs, adhere to speed limits, and use mandatory safety systems to prevent accidents during the holiday period.

Before starting their journey, the DGT recommends that drivers ensure their vehicles are in good condition, check weather forecasts from the State Meteorological Agency, and plan their routes to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.

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