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·  30 Juillet 2003 , Barcelona

2 million vehicles are forecast for the Acesa motorway network during the start of the summer holidays

THE AUGUST 2003 HOLIDAYS
The beginning of the August summer holidays, which this year coincides with a weekend, will mean that on 1, 2 and 3 August, a great number of vehicles (perhaps more than 2 million) will use the road network managed by Acesa. A significant increase in traffic is also forecast for 15, 16 and 17 August, when, for some, the summer holidays come to an end.

In addition to the special units activated by the Catalan Traffic Service on the road network, Acesa has reinforced all its road conditions and security services and added 400 staff (a 40% increase in its workforce) in response to the increase in traffic over the coming days. For its part, Aucat will increase its staff numbers by 15% in response to the increase in traffic on the Pau Casals motorway.

The busiest road will once again be the A-7 motorway. At its La Roca toll station, average daily traffic (ADT) of more than 100,000 vehicles is forecast. At the Martorell toll station, ADT of more than 90,000 vehicles is expected.

Additionally, Acesa will be reinforcing its remaining motorway user services via its real time traffic update information channels.

Autopistas’ services

In addition to its entire infrastructure, Acesa is pleased to offer all drivers its technological capacity and all its human resources to guarantee the greatest possible safety and offer the best customer service:

- The Teléfono Azul 902.20.03.20. Offers a comprehensive range of information to users of the Autopistas road network, 24 hours a day. Traffic updates, routes, customer service and useful telephone numbers. Using this service, Autopistas customers may access all the information they require for hassle-free planning of the trips, with information that is especially useful at the start of the summer holidays, with its peak traffic times.

For its part, Aucat offers a customer hotline, 902.10.11.55, to help drivers and offer round-the-clock information.

- Radiopista, an innovative radio information service, with its own road conditions team at the operations centre, providing information on the entire Autopistas network and other road routes in the country. Broadcast frequencies are indicated on the motorway and its main access points.

- The web site www.autopistas.com is a portal which offers comprehensive traffic information on the network managed by Autopistas: forecasts, real-time traffic updates, services and information of use when planning your trip.

- Variable information panels. The most direct information system for motorway users. From the Autopistas Operations Centre, information is permanently updated from traffic monitoring cameras and vehicle counters at toll stations and motorway entry and exit points. They are placed at strategic points on the motorway and a variety of access points, providing drivers with information on driving and weather conditions and special measures during peak traffic times, in real time and at the appropriate section of the motorway.

- TV cameras. Autopistas has around fifty closed circuit television cameras, a number which is continually being increased. They provide the Operations Centre with valuable real-time information on traffic. This allows it to provide immediate information via the variable information panels. Additionally, the Catalan Traffic Service also manages a network of cameras.

- Infopista, the tourist information points a the Montseny and Mèdol service areas. They offer a personalised service, information on traffic, routes, hotel bookings for the first night’s stay and tourist information in general.

All this real-time information is integrated in the other help and road conditions services, which include:

- The RACC’s Road Conditions Service, easily identifiable by their yellow colour, their vehicles patrol the entire Autopistas network round the clock to detect and warn of any incidents which might interfere with the smooth flow of traffic, both individual elements and all situations caused by traffic, weather or other circumstances which may affect road user safety or comfort. Autopistas currently had 7 light Road Conditions Service vehicles and 12 Global Road Conditions vans, distributed at a number of bases; Figueres, Montblanc, Alfajarín, Maçanet, El Vendrell and Sant Cugat.

- The Red Cross Medical Attention Service, with attention points at the Penedès (A-7), Empordà (A-7), la Selva (A-7), Lleida (A-2) and Pina de Ebro (A-2) service areas. These attention points are open on the 135 days in the year which see the greatest traffic, such as weekends, the summer and the start and end of holidays. These points have a doctor, nurse and everything required to provide primary care for any medical necessity. They also have an Arab interpreter for road users who need such a service. Additionally, a mobile unit is situated in other service areas in accordance with traffic conditions.

- SOS posts. Set every two kilometres and clearly identifiable by their orange colour and the international SOS symbol, the SOS posts are operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

- Breakdown assistance. Autopistas has agreed a breakdown service, managed by the RACC and compatible with the breakdown cover provided by insurance companies.

All these services are co-ordinated from Acesa’s Operations Centre, which is also in permanent contact with the authorities responsible for managing traffic: the Catalan Traffic Service in Catalonia and the Traffic Directorate General in Aragon.

Restrictions upon lorry traffic

Acesa would like to remind its users that, coinciding with the beginning of the holidays in August, the Catalan Traffic Service plans to increase the restrictions on lorries travelling on some routes on Saturday 26 July and Saturday 2 and 9 August. The aim of these restrictions is to ensure the free flow of private car traffic. For this reason, Acesa is distributing amongst its customers 65,000 brochures explaining the restrictions upon heavy goods vehicles.
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