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Longest day of the year brings traffic delays

Midsummer, the summer solstice, is being observed in the northern hemisphere on Thursday. In Finland, as in the rest of the Nordic region, many urban dwellers flee the cities for celebrations of summer and its white nights. Traffic was heaviest between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Auringonlasku ja koivunoksa
In the north, the sun is shining around the clock. Image: Anna Sirén / Yle

Early on Thursday the Finnish Transport Agency estimated over 100,000 would be living Helsinki during the day. The agency reported traffic jams and delays on most major highways late Thursday afternoon in southern Finland.

So far no major accidents have been reported although one man was killed when his car hit a tree in the town of  Hanko in south west Finland. Three separate accidents at Mäntsälä were reported during the day involving nine vehicles. One person was slightly injured.

South of Turku, a four kilometre queue developed on road 180 between Parainen and Nauvo due to a faulty ferry. Motorists and other travelers have experienced delays of up to two hours. The situation is expected to improve after 6 p.m. when an additional ferry is brought into service.

Most road work will be suspended over the holiday, but drivers are being cautioned to remember that lower speed limits are in force on sections where construction is underway.

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