Saturday road trips should be avoided this summer, travel assoc. warns
Holidaymakers should probably avoid traveling by car en route to their destinations on Saturdays in the coming weeks. Saturdays have the potential to become particularly busy in France, Germany and Austria, resulting in traffic jams and delays, warned Arnoud Broekhuis of ANWB Traffic Information.
On the Autoroute du Soleil, the highway to the south of France and Spain, five Saturdays in July and August are designated as "black Saturdays." On those days, a lot of traffic jams are expected, not only on the road, but also at gas stations, roadside restaurants and toll booths.
Due to the summer crowds, Austria is considering sending some traffic through the tunnels and passes on the routes to Italy and Slovenia/Croatia, the "Blockabfertigung." By allowing traffic on those roads in a controlled manner, traffic jams can also occur on the roads in Germany. No decision has yet been made on this.
"Travel behavior on Saturdays is persistent," said Broekhuis in response to reports from De Telegraaf. According to him, it is better to travel on Friday or Sunday or any other day of the week. The problem, he says, is that Saturday remains the usual changeover day in the holiday accommodations. "And we see that more and more people are switching on Saturdays. People used to stay in one place for two or three weeks, now we see that accommodation and destination are sometimes changed every week, which leads to extra traffic."
According to Broekhuis, the fact that Schiphol can process fewer passengers during the holiday months will lead to even more congestion on European highways. "The shortage at Schiphol is not alone. We also receive these signals from many other Western European holiday countries."
"As always in the summer, it is all hands on deck for the ANWB," says Broekhuis. Hence his advice to avoid Saturdays as much as possible. "Because the emergency services are also extra busy."
He also advises to make an appointment in time for a maintenance service for the car, because the garages are also suffering from staff shortages. Parts are also more difficult to obtain. Broekhuis also recommends taking a spare wheel abroad. "Because the emergency services are also busy on Saturday and then you may have to wait a long time for help with a flat tire."
Reporting by ANP