The back-to-back National Day and Hari Raya Aidiladha holidays will be here in exactly one week from now, and many Malaysians are gearing back for the drive back to their hometowns. As usual, PLUS Malaysia has released a travel time advisory (TTA) for the festive period from tomorrow, August 25 until September 4.

The advisory is meant to improve traffic distribution along the North-South Expressway, and prevent vehicles heading towards various destinations from converging at the same location and causing traffic congestion. Motorists heading towards Perlis, Kedah, Penang, North Perak and Johor are advised to enter the highway before 10 am.

Meanwhile, those travelling towards nearer destinations such as Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, South Perak and Central Perak are advised to enter the NSE after 10 am during those days. “This will allow vehicles travelling to further destinations to exit the highway before vehicles heading towards nearer destinations start entering the mainline,” said PLUS managing director Datuk Azman Ismail.

Around 1.7 million vehicles are expected to ply the North-South Expressway daily on peak days during the National Day and Hari Raya Aidiladha holidays – an increase of 21% compared to the usual 1.4 million vehicles travelling on normal working days.

The highway concessionaire also announced a 30% toll rebate for PLUSMiles card users on August 29 and September 4, while Touch ‘n Go users get a 10% rebate during those same dates. Both discounts are offered to Class 1 highway users (light vehicles with two axles and three or four wheels, except taxis) travelling more than 100 km on all PLUS-operated highways, and are available throughout the entire day on those two dates.

However, motorists will still be required to pay the toll fare in full, with the rebates loaded into their cards once they reload their cards at any PLUS customer service centres from September 15 to December 14. The rebates are not applicable at the Bukit Kayu Hitam, Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (Johor-Singapore Causeway), Tanjung Kupang (Second Link) and Penang Bridge toll plazas.

The company announced yesterday that it would be closing all 134 reload lanes at its toll plazas from August 29 to September 4 to facilitate smoother traffic flow during the festive period, so motorists are advised to check the balance of their Touch ‘n Go and PLUSMiles cards before travelling.