Holiday traffic eases on Lunar New Year’s Day evening

Traffic was again moving well on most major expressways across South Korea on Sunday evening as heavy daytime traffic let up.

Highways across the nation were packed with cars earlier in the day as people traveled to their hometowns to mark the Lunar New Year, while others were returning home following their visits.

As of 10 p.m., the travel time to Seoul was estimated at 4 hours and 30 minutes from Busan, 4 hours and 10 minutes from Ulsan, 3 hours and 30 minutes from Daegu, 3 hours and 30 minutes from Gwangju, 2 hours and 40 minutes from Gangneung, and 2 hours and 10 minutes from Daejeon, according to the Korea Expressway Corp. (KEC).

In the opposite direction, the travel time was estimated at 4 hours and 30 minutes to Busan, 4 hours and 10 minutes to Ulsan, 3 hours and 30 minutes to Daegu, 3 hours and 20 minutes to Gwangju, 2 hours and 40 minutes to Gangneung, and 1 hour and 30 minutes to Daejeon.

The KEC said around 5.13 million cars were expected to hit the road throughout the day, with 380,000 traveling out of the capital region and 510,000 traveling into the capital region.

Inbound traffic is expected to build up around 8 to 9 a.m. on Monday and peak at 4 to 5 p.m. before easing at around 2 to 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Outbound traffic is expected to surge at 10 to 11 a.m. Monday and peak at 4 to 5 p.m. before smoothly running again at 7 to 8 p.m.

This year's extended Lunar New Year holiday runs from Saturday through Tuesday, with the nation celebrating its first such holiday without social distancing restrictions since the outbreak of COVID-19 three years ago.

Source: Yonhap News Agency