Last weekend saw the roads of Spain start to look a little bit busier in the run up to Easter, but today sees phase 2 of the special operation commence, which starts at 15:00 on Wednesday, 1st April, and runs until 24:00 on Monday, 6th.
Many coastal and mountainous residents have already noticed that Easter this year is set to be one of the busiest ever, with inland residents coming to the touristic locations to enjoy a break away. In fact, it was already estimated that there would be an estimated 4.7% increase on the same period last year.
In this second phase, it is expected to start to get busy on the Wednesday, but then even busier on the Thursday as places as Cataluña and Valencia start to join in the celebrations, with some 8 million trips overall expected.
At the end of the holiday period, the tourists then return to their inland homes, and so the concentration will move from coastal and tourist zone back inland, and are likely to be busier as, unlike the arrival, the end is not as staggered. Sunday afternoon and evening are expected to be particularly bad, but the holiday continues into Monday in some areas, and so that will also pose a problem for traffic flow.
There will be 10,000 Guardia Civil traffic officers on duty, supported by 13,000 road maintenance operators. As well as around 800 officers and employees of the 8 control centres managing the movement of traffic flow. There will be 120 check points and special lanes in 25 sections of the road network, monitoring more than 800 kilometres of roads. There will also be eyes in the sky as the 13 DGT helicopters will be on hand too, including those equipped with Pegasus radar, available to alert and control any incident on the roads.
Tragically, last weekend also saw eight people lose their lives on the roads, a figure which is far too high in any count. It is always worth remembering to check your vehicle thoroughly before a long journey, paying attention to tyre pressure and tread depth, a wrongly inflated tyre can not only cost you money in fuel consumption, it could cost you your life.
Ensure that you have all of the mandatory and advisory equipment in your car before you leave, and plan your journey wisely, adding frequent stops and allowing extra time to get to your destination, avoiding the busiest periods where possible, and keeping a safe speed and distance at all times.