Operation El Pilar As Madrid Vacates For First Post Pandemic Puente

The Directorate-General for Traffic is set to launch Operation El Pilar, in anticipation of millions of road journeys this weekend, as people take to their cars to go to their pueblos and beach homes for the puente.

Over 7 million car journeys are expected for the bank holiday weekend between 8th -12th October.

Nearly 2 million of those affect the Madrid region as people disperse to enjoy the last of the warm weather and sunshine.

In addition the decision by the trade unions to extend the train strike until after the bank holiday is likely to add more traffic to the roads.

The operation will run from tomorow, Friday 8th 1500 and run until 2300 on Tuesday 12th.

The DGT will deploy 13 helicopters, 39 drones and 15 unmarked vehicles to enforce road regulations including the recently strenthened ones governing the use of mobile phones whilst driving.

This is addition to the hundreds of fixed and mobile cameras and radars to check for speeding on the country´s motorways.

The long weekend celebrates the Dia del Pilar and the national holiday of the Dia de Hispanidad on the 12th October.

The feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar is the celebration of the Virgin Mary, who is supposed to have appeared to the  Apostle James, on his faltering mission to Spain, after the cruxifiction of Jesus.

She gifted him a pillar to give him strength.

James, whose Spanish name is Santiago, is the patron saint of Spain and Pilar her Virgin.

The feast day is marked in many regional towns and cities, most notably in Zaragoza, where the pillar is kept in the cathedral.

Since 1987 the day is also celebrated as a national holiday marking El Dia de Hispanidad being the day of the Spanish race – both in Spain and across south and central Spain.




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