1.8 million Norwegians travel at Christmas – busiest Friday for traffic

Oslo Airport Gardermoen CustomsOslo Airport Gardermoen. Photo Norway Today Media

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Friday (20-12-2019) is Christmas’s busiest day in traffic as thousands of passengers get on trains, buses, planes and in the car to get home for Christmas celebrations.

At Norway’s main airport (Gardermoen) it is expected that close to 100,000 passengers will travel during Friday (20-12-2019).

“This is the big Christmas Day outing, and we expect 20,000 more travelers than on a regular day,” Avinor communications manager Joachim Westher Andersen told NTB.

A survey carried out by Respons Analyse on behalf of SpareBank 1 shows that nearly 1.8 million Norwegians travel this Christmas. Most travel from the capital – two out of three inhabitants celebrate Christmas somewhere else than in their own home.

No challenges in sight
In the morning hours, punctuality at Oslo Airport was 100 per cent, and according to Andersen, the meteorologists believe that the weather will be fine during the day as well.

“There is no reason for the weather to cause any delays. The goal is for everyone to get to where they are going at the scheduled time. If we can, we are satisfied,” he says.

Avinor also encourages travelers to pack high value Christmas presents in their hand baggage, if possible.

Since Christmas Eve this year is on a Tuesday and many are taking a long weekend before Christmas starts, Christmas traffic has spread over several days. There will therefore be many travelers also on Saturday, Sunday and the 23rd.

But a peak in traffic on the roads, planes, trains and buses, is expected on Friday (20-12-2019) .

Full up also on train and bus
“There is no doubt that Friday (20-12-2019) is a busy day. We see this in both train and bus services, and we have prepared for many to travel by providing extra seats,” says communications manager Gina Scholz at Vy.

However, despite the high demand, there are still some seats available.

“But I would check pretty quickly if today is the time to go home,” Scholz urges.

She adds that it is important to keep in mind that there are many who are going out and traveling, and often with a little more luggage than usual.

Allow for extra time
“Allow for extra time to get to the station and familiarize yourself with the rules for what you can bring. It’s also important to pack well,” says Scholz.

Icy roads created problems in morning traffic in some places on Friday, but the road traffic centers believe that it will not cause big problems for Christmas traffic during the day.

Also on the mountain crossings it seems that the drive should go smoothly.

“It’s a little snowy, but not a lot of wind, so it should be OK. There may be a little more towards the evening, but the status now is that the mountain crossings are open,” says traffic operator Stian Molteberg at the Road Traffic Center south.

In the west, the situation looks decent. County road 51 over Valdresflye is closed at night.

If you are going to cross a mountain pass in the winter cold, the challenge is to pack some extra food and warm clothes in the car, so that you are prepared if something unexpected happens.

Otherwise, the request from the traffic operators is to allow for extra time.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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