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Songkran revellers continue exodus to Northeast and East causing traffic snarls on highways

Although the official 5-day Thai traditional New Year festival began today (Friday) with Thai people across the country going to temples making merits, Songkran revellers continued exodus from the capital to celebrate the events at their home provinces.

Highway police reported heavy traffic jams on several highways to the North and Northeast, particularly, Friendship, Asian highways and the Kanchanapusek ring road or known as Motorway 9 since yesterday until late today.

Highway police again advised motorists to use Highway 347 instead to avoid traffic snarls on Motorway 9, and the interchange at Bang Pa-in and Phaholyothin.

Motorists in Bangkok using Phaholyothin road were advised to use Highway 347 via the intersection near Thammasart Rangsit university to avoid the heavily congested Motorway 9 exit to Phaholyothin road.

Highway police reported as long as 10 kilometre long traffic jam on Motorway 9 exit to Phaholyothin road.

Yesterday Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Oil Gen Sriwara Rangsibhramanakul flew in helicopter to inspect the traffic conditions on Phaholyothin, Friendship, and Highway 304 (Kabinburi-Pak Thongchai) which motorists used as alternative route to the northeastern provinces.

The aerial observation during the afternoon until evening found traffic flowing smoothly on plain roads, except on slope sections of Highway 304 in Na Di district of Prachinburi.

A 20-kilometre-long traffic jam could be seen on this highway as vehicles could not use speed.

The traffic condition remained unchanged today on this section.

Meanwhile heavy traffic jam was also reported on Friendship highway to the Northeast, particularly at Lamtakong dam in Sikiew district of Nakhopn Ratchasima, the gateway to the Northeast.

More than 20-kilometre-long traffic jams was reported although highway police have arranged extra lanes of 10 kilometres long between Muak Lek district of Saraburi to Klang Dong in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima to ease congestion for outbound traffic, and open a 26 km special traffic lane at Nong Sarai sub-district of Kahon Ratchasima to Klong Phai sub-district of Sikiew district, from kilometre marker 65 87 to facilitate traffic flow on the road.

The two steep sections on Friendship Highway and also construction of the Bang Pa-in-Nakhon Ratchasima Hugh speed train project caused traffic snarls of up to 10 kilometres long.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)