Peak holiday traffic is starting earlier than usual in 2018 – here are the busiest routes

Peak traffic on the country’s national roads is likely to occur earlier than normal because of the days on which December and January public holidays fall.

In addition, all public schools close on 12 December, a Wednesday, and open on a Tuesday, a week after 1 January.

This is according to the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), which stated that traffic volumes will become really heavy from Friday, 14 December.

The Friday marks the beginning of a long weekend as Monday is a public holiday (because 16 December falls on a Sunday) and it is also the day when the building industry shuts down, said Sanral.

Three worst days

An analysis of road volume statistics in previous years shows that high volumes of traffic should be expected on the national and provincial freeway system during specific days in December.  

All three public holidays – the Day of Reconciliation, Christmas and New Year – are celebrated on, or close to weekends and this will result in higher volumes in the preceding days as people travel to destinations in time for celebrations, Sanral said.

These dates are:

  • 14 December – ahead of the Day of Reconciliation
  • 21-24 December – ahead of Christmas
  • 28-31 December – ahead of New Year

“The national road network is, however, in good-to-excellent shape and able to handle increases in traffic and even extremely high volumes at certain times,” it said.

“The quality of the roads and collaboration between Sanral, law enforcement agencies, provincial traffic authorities and emergency services will no doubt contribute to safer journeys.”

According to Mona, the busiest toll plazas will be:

  • Carousel, Pumulani and Kranskop on the N1 north;
  • Middleburg on the N4;
  • Marian Hill and Mooiriver on the N3;
  • Tongaat on the N2. 

The busiest routes will be the:

  • N1 to Beitbridge;
  • N3 to Durban;
  • N4 to Maputo;
  • N2 North Coast.

Read: Here’s how many people say they will never pay for e-tolls

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Peak holiday traffic is starting earlier than usual in 2018 – here are the busiest routes