Holiday weekend ADAC expects major traffic congestion in NRW just before Ascension Day

Düsseldorf · Some will be heading up to the north of Germany, others will be driving to the Netherlands: many people in NRW are expected to use the long weekend for a mini vacation. But the roads will be full, also around Cologne and Bonn. Expect to need more travel time to get to your destination.

Leading up to the long Ascension Day weekend, the ADAC is expecting a lot of traffic congestion.

Leading up to the long Ascension Day weekend, the ADAC is expecting a lot of traffic congestion.

Foto: picture alliance/dpa/Oliver Berg

The ADAC (German Automobile Association) expects major traffic congestion on the autobahns in North Rhine-Westphalia this Wednesday because of the Ascension Day holiday on Thursday. This is typically one of the most crowded days on the autobahn, with many traffic jams. "The autobahns around the metropolitan areas and the ones heading towards the North and Baltic Sea coasts and the Netherlands are the most severely congested," said ADAC traffic expert Roman Suthold. Last year, at times, there were more than 420 kilometers of traffic jams on the NRW autobahns in the lead up to Ascension Day. Much less traffic is expected on the autobahns from Thursday through Saturday. On Sunday afternoon, everyone who has taken advantage of the long holiday weekend will be returning.

Traffic jam hotspots in the greater Cologne area

The ADAC expects traffic delays in NRW, particularly on the A1 (Cologne-Dortmund-Hamburg), the A2 (Oberhausen-Dortmund-Hanover) and the A3 (Emmerich-Oberhausen-Cologne-Frankfurt). There is also a high potential for congestion on the A40 (Dortmund-Essen-Duisburg), the A42 (Dortmund-Oberhausen-Duisburg) and the A45 at the closed Rahmedetal bridge. In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, there are nearly 600 sites where road work is being carried out on the autobahns. Traffic jams are very likely to form in those areas.

"Drivers traveling to the Netherlands should be prepared for traffic congestion on the other side of the border, especially on Wednesday," said Suthold.

Travelers should plan extra time due to traffic congestion

According to the ADAC, leaving the autobahn and taking country roads when you find yourself in a traffic jam rarely works to your advantage. Even the alternate routes are often congested. It’s only worth leaving the autobahn if the traffic jams are more than ten kilometers long or if the autobahn is completely closed off.

The director of the “Autobahn-Gesellschaft für Westfalen”, Elfriede Sauerwein-Braksiek, tells travelers to plan for the high probability of traffic jams from the outset. "Find out about the current traffic situation before you start your journey and plan enough time for your trip," she said. The same is true for the long weekends coming up in May for Whitsun and Corpus Christi. "Autobahn GmbH's roadworks coordination team will avoid one-day roadwork projects during those times," said the Rhineland branch.

Orig. text: dpa

Translation: ck