Schiphol chaos, travel fever caused unprecedented traffic on European roads: ANWB
Chaos at Schiphol combined with post-coronavirus travel fever caused unprecedented traffic on European roads this summer vacation. “This is the busiest summer on European roads ever,” Arnoud Broekhuis of the ANWB Traffic Center said to AD.
The travelers’ organization noticed a shift in holidaymakers' behavior - massive traffic jams are spread out over more days. “The traffic already starts on Friday. The black Saturdays this year were Saturday and Friday and Sunday. It’s busy all week,” Broekhuis said. “We’ve been shouting for decades: don’t leave on Saturday. People are finally listening.”
“The traffic jams may not be longer than in other years, but the cumulative total delay is much more significant. Even on a Sunday, you have to expect a two-hour delay when you come back from Spain,” Broekhuis said to the newspaper.
The increased traffic also led to more people breaking down along the road. Since July 1, the ANWB Alarmcentrale has helped 400,000 Netherlands residents with car trouble or other problems. “I’ve never seen it so busy before. More than 30 percent more cars broke down than in 2019, the last summer holiday before the coronavirus,” Victor Geskes of the Alarmcentrale said to the newspaper.
“It’s been a rough summer for us,” Geskes said. “The Dutch are going abroad en masse by car now that it is possible again. Flying is less popular, if only because of the stress of catching the flight or not losing the suitcase. The heat in Southern Europe demands a lot from the car. There are problems with the cooling system or the clutch when people get stuck in traffic uphill. Add up all those causes, and you’re in the hustle and bustle we have now.”
The heaviest traffic Saturdays are behind us - this past Saturday and the week before - but the ANWB expects busy roads throughout August. The holiday in the Zuid region only ends on September 4.