Icy roads lead to 554km in traffic delays

24th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — Snow and ice led to longer than usual delays for motorists on Monday morning, with the combined length of traffic jams totalling 554km, placing the peak-hour period in the top five in terms of all time delays.

24 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — Snow and ice led to longer than usual delays for motorists on Monday morning, with the combined length of traffic jams totalling 554km, placing the peak-hour period in the top five in terms of all time delays.

The roads were not extremely slippery because maintenance crews sprinkled a thick layer of salt on the main roads on Sunday before the snow started to fall. But cautious driving by motorists — who kept large distances from the car in front — contributed to delays. Dutch authorities said there were "remarkably" few accidents.

The Traffic Information Service (VID) said the total length of the traffic jams reached 554km at 8.33am. The all time record dates back to 8 February 1999 when heavy snowfalls led to traffic jams extending to a combined length of 975km.

The number and length of Monday's traffic jams started to decline at about 9am, but Dutch motorists association ANWB said it expected the traffic jams to continue well past 10am, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

Traffic delays started early after motorists heeded warnings issued on Sunday and departed for work earlier than usual. But early morning motorists were only using one lane on various motorways because the left-hand lane was especially slippery, especially in the east of the country.

Several snow clearing vehicles were blocked by a traffic jam on the A6 motorway on the Muiden-bound lanes and thus could not continue throwing salt onto the motorway. This led to longer delays for motorists heading into Amsterdam.
 
The VID and ANWB said the delays were concentrated in the Randstad — the region encompassing the four largest Dutch cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht — and in the centre of the country.
 
A 21km traffic jam was reported on the A2 motorway between Nieuwegein and Vinkeveen, but this was topped by a 37km traffic jam on the A12 in the Utrecht-bound lanes between Oosterbeek and Bunnik.

A 26km traffic jam built up on the A28 Zwolle-Utrecht motorway between Strand Horst and Amersfoort South. On the A2 between Best and Kerdriel, the traffic jam extended to 27km.

The top five in terms of all-time traffic delays is: 18 February 1999 (975km), 26 February 2004 (762km), 29 January 2004 (571km), 10 February 1999 (567km), 24 January 2005 (554km). The morning peak hour of 6 January 2003 has now slipped to sixth, the VID said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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