Nationwide Surge in Travel Marks First Day of Lunar New Year Holiday

SEOUL - An estimated 5.2 million vehicles were on the roads across the country on Friday, marking the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday as many traveled to their hometowns.

According to Yonhap News Agency, around 490,000 vehicles were expected to depart the greater Seoul area for regions across the country, while approximately 370,000 vehicles were anticipated to enter the capital. Traffic congestion on major southward highways, which was significant in the morning, began to decrease by the afternoon. The agency projected that traffic congestion would fully subside between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. As of 5 p.m., travel times from Seoul to Busan and Gwangju were recorded at approximately 4 1/2 and 3 1/2 hours, respectively. Traffic returning to Seoul was expected to peak between noon and 1 p.m., with conditions improving between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Lunar New Year this year is celebrated on Saturday, with the holiday extended to four days, including a temporary holiday on Monday.

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