Travel advice does little to reduce weekend motorway hold ups

The longest tailbacks were on the motorway east of Malaga.
The longest tailbacks were on the motorway east of Malaga. / Fernando González
  • Most drivers didn't stagger their journeys or use toll roads as asked and 24 kilometres of tailbacks still built up on Sunday evening

The traffic tailbacks on local motorways at weekends don't appear to have got much better as most motorists failed to heed official advice on how to avoid them.

Last Sunday there were some 24 kilometres of hold ups on the Costa del Sol’s motorway network during the busy evening rush.

Although this was down on the 30 kilometres of jams the previous weekend, the reduction made little real difference to the many motorists who found themselves trapped in tailbacks during the peak hours of 8pm to 10pm, as people headed back from day trips to the beaches and a weekend on the coast.

Last week the DGT national road traffic authority reacted to increasing jams at weekends by saying that it couldn’t open extra relief lanes on hard shoulders, as it used to do, as space has been taken up at key bottlenecks by road widening over recent years. In addition officials say that they want to keep the hard shoulders clear for accidents and emergencies.

Instead they recommend that drivers stagger their departure times and use the under-used toll roads as alternatives to the main motorways.

The worst affected areas last Sunday evening were the A-7 between Vélez-Málaga and Rincón de la Victoria, east of Malaga, where people were returning from the Torre del Mar airshow; the A-7 towards Marbella in San Pedro de Alcántara;and the A-7 around Calahonda and the Fuengirola area.

There were also the usual build ups on the MA-20 near Plaza Mayor and Malaga airport and on the A-45 inland motorway towards Antequera on the Las Pedrizas pass.

Despite last week’s advice, little looks likely to improve over the summer as the economy improves and weekend tourists flock to the coast.