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Busy weekend expected on trains and motorways

Credit: Belga

Traffic-wise, this weekend will be one of the busiest of the summer holidays so far, as national train service SNCB is expecting more travellers than usual, and heavy traffic is predicted to and from popular European holiday destinations.

Due to the sunny and warm weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday, SNCB is expecting around 100,000 people to travel to the coastal region in Belgium, based on its website’s traffic for pages to plan trips to the coast.

“Due to the good weather this week, a large number of passengers are expected on the trains to the Coast. For guaranteed seating and comfortable travel, book your seat in advance,” SNCB said on Twitter.

However, SNCB is not expecting trains to be overcrowded, as each weekend since the start of the holidays, 19 special trains have been put in place to deal with an influx of travellers every weekend, Vincent Bayer, SNCB spokesperson, told La Dernière Heure. 

“Extra security teams are planned in the stations to help passengers, but also to limit access to the platforms,” he added, stressing that this could mean waiting times are slightly longer.

Busy roads

It is also expected to be a busy weekend on the roads, as mobility organisation Touring had already put out a warning, advising people to avoid travelling before 12:00 PM on Saturday.

Heavy traffic and traffic jams are expected throughout the day on the motorways going to and from popular holiday destinations, including in France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy.

Traffic has slowed down on the Autoroute du Soleil (A7) in France as well as the Gotthard tunnel towards Italy from Switzerland, while in Germany, traffic was particularly busy in the south, with a long queue on the A8 Munich – Salzburg before the border crossing with Austria.

Going eastwards, the A10 Salzburg – Vliaach as well as the Tauern tunnel are experiencing heavy traffic, whilst queues have formed on the A11 Villach – Slovenia at the Karawanken tunnel towards Slovenia. Heading to Croatia, traffic is also slow on the Maribor – Zagreb motorway.

Throughout Europe, Saturday has been classified as a dark red day as people are either leaving for the final part of the holidays or are returning home. Peak traffic is expected around noon, while in the inbound direction towards Belgium, Touring expects traffic to peak around 3:00 PM.

The Brussels Times