Chinese travellers brace for more traffic chaos as holiday nears end

All forms of transport under strain as millions pack up and head back to work after ‘Golden Week’

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 October, 2017, 10:55pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 October, 2017, 2:46pm

Traffic is expected to peak again over the weekend as the extended National Day break draws to a close and millions of Chinese pack up and head back to work.

All forms of transport will be under strain as travellers take to the roads, railways and air. On Saturday alone, some 13.61 million train trips were expected to be made, the official Xinhua news agency reported. That was up from 12.36 million on Friday.

It has been a particularly busy “Golden Week” holiday on the railway network, beginning with a record 15.03 million trips made on the first day, October 1, the China Railway Corporation said on Saturday.

One of the world’s biggest human migrations has so far seen some 105 million train trips made since the holiday travel rush began on September 28.

On the roads, traffic controls have been in place to limit the number of vehicles using parts of the major expressways connecting Beijing, Hong Kong and Macau as well as from Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province to Ruili in southwestern Yunnan province, according to state media.

As they did on the first day of the holiday, many drivers will probably spend the night stuck in their cars, stuck in traffic as they begin the slow journey home.

The number of Chinese estimated to be on the move fell to 42 million on Saturday from 67 million the day before, according to China National Tourism Administration. But that was still up by 17.6 per cent from a year ago.

Across the country, tourism revenues hit 32.9 billion yuan (US$4.94 billion) for Saturday alone, up 14.8 per cent from a year ago, the tourism administration said.

And from October 1 to 6, the 600 million domestic tourists on holiday have generated revenues of 516.5 billion yuan, the administration said.

This year’s National Day holiday runs for eight days because of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which fell on October 4. It ends on Sunday.