A WHOPPING 13.5 million car journeys are expected to be made over the next week, as much of Spain will grind to a halt thanks to a public holiday on Tuesday December 6 and another on Thursday December 8. Weeks like this, with either one or two holidays interspersed with working days, are known in Spanish as puentes (bridges). In this case, it’s a superpuente.
Spain’s DGT traffic authority has predicted the record numbers of journeys, which are up by five million on last year, and two million compared to 2016, which is the last time that the Constitution Day and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception holidays fell on a Tuesday and a Thursday.
The DGT is warning motorists that the worst times on the roads will be from 4pm to 10pm today, Friday, and in the same time frame on Wednesday December 7. Tomorrow, Saturday, the busiest times will be between 10am and 2pm, while on Thursday December 8 and Sunday December 11 the times to avoid will be 4pm to 11pm.
In fact, the DGT is recommending that people avoid travel altogether during these peak periods.
The figures also predict that 25% of journeys will be made in the central area of Spain, with 21% in the south and 11% in the north.
There will be a number of measures in place in a bid to cope with the high volume of traffic, including extra lanes according to the flow, and alternative routes to ease congestion.
Lorries will have restricted access on the roads, while any sporting events that could cause delays have been limited as well.
The DGT is also ramping up its alcohol and drug testing, reporting that these factors contribute to 24% of deadly accidents. Unfortunately for those who will be getting away for the superpuente, the weather forecast is poor, with rain forecast for the central and eastern regions. Temperatures are also due to drop, in particular in the Castilla y León and Navarre regions.