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"Golden Week" traffic leaves thousands feeling "miserable"

(Xinhua)

12:34, October 09, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- For microblogger "Rangrang2010", driving along the expressway on her way home for the National Day holiday took far too long.

"I started at 4 o'clock in the morning on Sept. 30, but the three-hour journey took me about six hours after my car snailed among the sporadic accidents along the car-laden expressway",the 24-year-old complained in a microblog piece.

Rangrang2010 was one of the 647 million drivers and passengers who flocked to the country's highways to go home or to tourist spots for the eight-day national holiday running from Sept.30 to Oct.7. The break combined both the National Day holiday and the Mid-Autumn Festival, traditionally a time for family reunions.

On Sept.30 when Rangrang2010 left Beijing for home in neighboring Hebei province, 24 expressways witnessed traffic congestion in 16 provinces. The traffic claimed a total of 794 lives during the eight days.

Some people blamed country's new policy that made most expressways toll free for passenger cars under seven seats during the 8-day holiday.

In August, the government decided to lift road tolls for passenger cars driving on highways during major Chinese holidays in a bid to boost tourism consumption.

The toll free policy will exempt the public of around 20 billion yuan (3.15 billion U.S. dollars) during the "Golden Week", estimated Peng Zhizhong, professor in logistics management with Shandong University.


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