Expressway Traffic Volume Down 70 Pct during Golden Week in Japan

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Tokyo, May 7 (Jiji Press)--Traffic volume on expressways across Japan during this year's Golden Week holiday period fell 70 pct from the previous year's similar period amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, the transport ministry said Thursday.

The number of vehicles spotted in 40 survey sections averaged some 14,600 each day in the period from April 25 through Wednesday, the ministry said.

The sharp traffic volume decline from last year's Golden Week, from April 27 through May 8, came as authorities urged people to stay home and all the four expressway operators refrained from implementing holiday toll discounts to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the ministry, the section between the Kuse Interchange and the Yubara Interchange in Okayama Prefecture on the Yonago Expressway in western Japan saw the largest fall of 84 pct. The smallest drop was 52 pct, observed in the section between the Kawasaki-Ukishima Junction and the Umihotaru Parking Area on the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line.

The ministry also said the 40-section average of traffic volume of large vehicles, mostly trucks, fell only 14 pct reflecting unabated physical distribution demand, with the section between the Hida-Kiyomi Interchange and the Shirakawago Interchange on the Tokai Hokuriku Expressway in the central region seeing even a rise of 36 pct.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press