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Spain Braces For New Years Rush


Recent data released by Spain’s Ministry of the Interior indicates that approximately 4,520,000 long-distance journeys are anticipated during the second phase of the year-end holidays. These travels encompass not only the initial trip but also movements made upon reaching holiday destinations, encompassing popular spots such as second homes, mountain regions for winter sports enthusiasts, winter-themed tourist destinations, and vibrant shopping areas.

The Ministry predicts peak travel congestion between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. today and from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 30, particularly for departures from major urban centers. Additionally, increased traffic is expected from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday, January 1, as holidaymakers return from their destinations.

To ensure a seamless and safe flow of traffic, Spanish traffic authorities have implemented various regulatory measures, including the use of reversible and complementary lanes during peak hours and the establishment of alternative routes. Road construction projects will be halted, and the organization of events occupying road space will be restricted. Specific restrictions on truck movement, especially those transporting particular goods, will be enforced in certain sections, dates, and times.

The second phase of the Christmas 2023 operation began at 3:00 p.m. today and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 1, 2024, with the primary goal of safeguarding all road users.

Executing these measures involves the deployment of officials from the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT), specialized technical personnel at Traffic Management Centers, agents of the Traffic Group of the Civil Guard, employees of maintenance companies overseeing roads under concession by the Ministry of Transport, and personnel from emergency services, including health and firefighters.

Aligned with this year’s Christmas campaign slogan, “Better late than never,” Traffic earnestly calls on citizens to prioritize responsibility and avoid actions that may lead to accidents with tragic consequences.

Furthermore, the Ministry disclosed a sombre toll since the commencement of the Christmas period on December 22, with 18 lives lost in road accidents. This sobering reality underscores the critical importance of individual choices and adherence to safety measures to protect lives on the road during this festive season.


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