Busiest evening rush hour this year with over 1,470 km of traffic jams
Traffic was backed up all over the Netherlands with over 1,470 kilometers of traffic jams at 5:30 p.m. during the Tuesday rush hour, easily making it the busiest evening rush hour of the year. That figure built up quickly from early on in the day, with major issues on the Rotterdam highways already causing 1,000 kilometers of jams by 4:30 p.m. That rose to 1,200 by 5 p.m., 1,250 a few minutes later, and 1,350 km at 5:20 p.m., according to Dutch travel association ANWB.
Rush hour was expected to be particularly irritating for commuters on Thursday as people tried to get home to get an early jump on the four-day holiday weekend from Good Friday through the second day of Easter on Monday. That was combined with rainy weather in the northwestern, northern, and eastern parts of the Netherlands.
It was particularly crowded on the roads in the Rotterdam area as the result of a technical issue at the Ketheltunnel, which led to road workers shutting down the A4 in both directions between Rotterdam and The Hague. Traffic was "completely" jammed on all through roads in and around the city, the ANWB said.
Following that, there was also an accident on the A13 from Rotterdam to The Hague, one of the routes drivers were diverted to because of the A4 shut down. Two lanes were closed as a result, adding dozens of minutes to travel time. People should consider postponing their trip to or from Rotterdam if possible, said infrastructure agency Rijkswaterstaat.
Traffic also began to build from Utrecht to Gorinchem and also to The Hague in the early afternoon due to several roadway incidents. It was also very busy on the Amsterdam A10 ring road, and on the A2 in both directions between Amsterdam and Eindhoven. The A50 was also crowded northbound and southbound from Apeldoorn, as was the A12 in all directions from Arnhem. The A15 was also completely jammed up.
The evening rush hour was extremely heavy early on, "as predicted this morning," said Jorn de Vries, the director of traffic app company Flitsmeister. He said drivers across the Netherlands were stuck in traffic jams that added 3,400 minutes to travel times already by 4:30 p.m.
"That is almost twice as busy as the busiest rush hour on a Thursday afternoon in the past twelve months," he said.