Northbound traffic on Taiwan's freeways smoother than expected as holiday ends

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(CNA photo)

Northbound traffic was better than predicted on the nation's freeways Sunday evening, as the four-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday concluded, Freeway Bureau data showed.

According to the bureau's 1968 online traffic service, travel speeds were generally over 60 kilometers per hour, including on Freeway No. 5, which links Taipei and Yilan.

The freeway, which recorded record congestion at the beginning of the holiday drawing much criticism, showed improved traffic conditions Sunday evening, the website showed.

As a result, the bureau said, it had lifted high-occupancy vehicle controls at 6 p.m. ahead of schedule.

Other traffic hot spots, including Freeway No. 1 near Hsinchu, Taichung, Changhua and Yunlin, as well as Freeway No. 3 near Hsinchu, Taoyuan, Miaoli, Taichung and Nantou all saw better than expected traffic conditions, according to the website.

The bureau originally forecast that traffic on those freeway sections could remain congested until late evening.

Total freeway traffic volume throughout Sunday was estimated at up to 100 million vehicle-kilometers, a measure of traffic flow, determined by multiplying the number of vehicles on a traffic network by the average length of trips measured in kilometers, the bureau said.

The freeways usually record 87 million v-km on a weekday, it said.