Pakjesavond: Evening rush hour traffic to pile up earlier than usual

Carrots for Sinterklaas' horse
Carrots for Sinterklaas' horsePhoto: sara_winterDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

This evening is Pakjesavond in the Netherlands - the evening on which Sinterklaas delivers his gifts. As a result, evening rush hour is expected to start earlier and be busier than usual, as many people leave work earlier than normal to get home on time, travelers association ANWB and public works department Rijkswaterstaat warn.

"The Thursday evening rush hour is always quite busy", Heleen de Geest of the ANWB said to "And our experience is that people leave considerably earlier on 5 December than on normal working days. The rush hour peak will be at least an hour earlier, so around 5:00 p.m."

Rijkswaterstaat expects rush hour traffic to start piling up at around 3:00 p.m. The department advises commuters to keep an eye on current traffic information to figure out when to leave leave for home on time to avoid disappointment. 

According to navigation company TomTom, the peak of evening rush hour on December 5th last year was around 4:00 p.m. Then there were over 650 kilometers of traffic jams on Dutch roads. The traffic jams persisted until after 7:00 p.m.