This weekend sees another anticipated rush on the roads, as Spain celebrates Labour Day on Friday 1st of May, leading us into a long weekend which also includes the Madrid celebrations on Saturday the 2nd, commemorating the 1808 rebellion against French troops, el Día de la Madre, mother´s day, on Sunday the 3rd, and mixing in the UK bank holiday on Monday and the Mexican celebrations on Tuesday the 5th, with Torrevieja´s May Fair starting on Wednesday.
On top of all this, the motorcycle grand prix, the Gran Premio de España de Motociclismo, also takes place this weekend at Jerez.
Nationally, the most important time surrounds the holidays at the weekend, and so the DGT has launched a special operation to monitor traffic flow which begins at 15:00 on Thursday, the 30th of April.
It is anticipated that there will be a 4% increase in road traffic compared to last year, with 4.7 million trips expected during the holiday weekend.
As usual, it is anticipated that the main flow of traffic will originate in city and inland areas and head towards the coastal and mountainous recreational areas
Thursday evening is expected to be particularly bust as city dwellers finish work and head to the coast, which will also produce a similar situation on Friday morning and early afternoon.
Shorter journeys on coastal roads and near retail zones are the anticipated problem for Saturday, before many of the tourists will start to return inland on Sunday, which is expected to see the biggest concentration of movement.
As for the motorcycle race, this is expected to be busier on Saturday, and even worse on Sunday as the races come to an end and traffic starts to leave. Surveillance will be stepped up on all roads around the area, paying particular attention to the more vulnerable road users who may partake in risky or dangerous behaviour. During the Easter holiday period, motorcyclist deaths increased from 7 last year to 12 during this year´s weekend activities.
In order to improve the flow of traffic, many scheduled road works will be suspended and there will be restrictions on movements of certain heavy and dangerous goods vehicles.
The Guardia Civil traffic department will be out in force monitoring the flow of vehicles on the ground, with helicopters from the DGT providing sir support throughout. In addition, there will be extra lanes created in certain key areas to allow more traffic to pass.
In the interest of safety there will also be an intensified campaign monitoring for speeding vehicles on the roads, as well as for drivers who have consumed alcohol or drugs.
Alternative routes are available at some areas and information on traffic movement can be obtained from the DGT website. As always, the advice is to plan your journey in advance, allow ample time, take plenty of breaks and ensure that your vehicle and you are prepared for what might be a longer than usual journey.