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April 5, 2013

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Home » Metro » Public Services

A busy day as relatives travel to pay tribute to loved ones

SHANGHAI'S expressways and elevated roads were overwhelmed with traffic yesterday with millions of people leaving the city in the morning for the Qingming Festival and returning home in the afternoon, traffic authorities said.

By 2pm, 2.62 million people had visited the main cemeteries across the city, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau said.

Some ramps on the elevated roads were closed to alleviate the pressure, officials said.

By late yesterday afternoon, more than 800,000 vehicles had used the expressway and highway network, a 33 percent rise on the same period last year.

"Almost from the moment we started off, we were stuck in traffic," said a Shanghai resident surnamed Xu, whose family had traveled to a cemetery in the neighboring city of Taicang, Jiangsu Province. The normal one-hour journey took them at least two, Xu said.

Viewed from above, aboard a police helicopter, the column of vehicles leaving the city in the morning stretched for many kilometers. Several minor accidents added to the congestion.

The city's Metro network also saw a huge increase in the number of passengers taking the subway to cemeteries.

More buses were added to keep up with the demand.

The railway system in the Yangtze River Delta region also felt the strain as residents traveled to neighboring provinces to sweep their ancestors' tombs, the Shanghai railway authority said. About 1.6 million passengers traveled by train in Shanghai and the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui, a record daily high.

Meanwhile, Shanghai's two airports also reported a surge in the number of passengers to Hong Kong, Taiwan and southern Asian countries.

The three-day holiday also saw an increase in cruise liner activity with 11 ships due to arrive and depart from Shanghai. It is estimated that 28,000 people will pass through the city's ports during the holiday.


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