‘More people want to travel north’
Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) - January 1, 2015 - 12:00am

CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines – More people have been traveling north, and it contributed to the traffic jam on the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), particularly going to Baguio City during the holidays, an official said yesterday.

Robin Ignacio, Tollways Management Corp.  traffic management head, told The STAR there was a 10 to 15 percent increase in the regular number of vehicles on NLEX during the holidays.

The queue of vehicles, which stretched to two kilometers at the toll plaza in Dau, Pampanga last Dec. 23, was the longest so far, said Ignacio.

Ignacio said more people from Metro Manila have been traveling north following the opening of a 10-kilometer Rosales to Urdaneta, Pangasinan portion of  the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

About 160,000 to 180,000 vehicles use the NLEX on regular days.

He said TPLEX cut travel time to northern provinces and Baguio City.

Ignacio said cheaper gas and the increase in the number of vehicles contributed to the gridlock.

 “The price of fuel has significantly decreased as compared to last January, it is less expensive to travel,” he said.

Ignacio said statistics also show that more people now own cars.

“The percentage increase is in double digits,” he said.

Records at the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Truck Manufacturers Association, and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors showed a 23.5 percent growth in automobile sales as of May.

Ignacio said the volume of vehicles is seen to snarl traffic on NLEX again when motorists start trooping back to Metro Manila on Sunday.

ASSOCIATION OF VEHICLE IMPORTERS AND DISTRIBUTORS BAGUIO CITY CHAMBER OF AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURERS OF THE PHILIPPINES IGNACIO METRO MANILA NORTH LUZON EXPRESSWAY PAMPANGA ROBIN IGNACIO TARLAC-PANGASINAN-LA UNION EXPRESSWAY TOLLWAYS MANAGEMENT CORP TRUCK MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION
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