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Congestion dogs travelers

By Zhao Lei  (China Daily)

08:42, October 08, 2012

Passengers at the Bozhou Train Station in Anhui province wait in line to check in on Sunday. [Liu Qinli/ For China Daily]

Few chances for paid leave from workplace result in crowded roads

China's traffic networks witnessed more congestion on Sunday, the last day of the eight-day holiday that took in both the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holiday.

The heavy traffic started at about 2 pm on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Because there are only two long holidays in China and paid leave is not well implemented by most employers, people have few chances to travel and many use the long holidays to sightsee or visit family.

The country's 119 major scenic spots received 34.25 million visitors over the eight-day holiday, up 21 percent from the same period last year. Tourist spending surged by nearly a quarter from last year, up to 1.77 billion yuan ($278 million), the National Tourism Administration said on Sunday.

A new policy making most expressways toll free over the holiday period for passenger cars with fewer than seven seats resulted in heavier than usual traffic over the holiday period.

From Saturday afternoon roads and expressways leading to big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan, began to see heavy traffic.

As many as 81 million road journeys were made on Saturday, a 7.6 percent increase from the same day last year.

A massive 1.8 million journeys were taken on waterways on Saturday, 11.2 percent more than on the same day last year, according to the ministry.

The Ministry of Transport said Sunday’s road traffic peak started at about 10 am and would continue late into the night.

Traffic authorities in Beijing estimated more than 1.7 million cars would return to Beijing on Sunday, 40 percent more than in the same period last year.

On the Zhuji section of the Zhuji-Yongjia highway in Zhejiang province, traffic police were forced by severe congestion to limit the number of cars allowed on the road on Sunday afternoon.

The Jinzhong section of the Erenhot-Guangzhou highway in Shanxi province was partly closed on Sunday evening due to traffic accidents.

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