Heavy snowfall causes disruption to transport network in Sapporo area, will all JR services suspended and heavy congestion on roads   

Trains in and out of JR Sapporo Station were suspended all day on February 7 due to record-breaking snowfall, and many buses in Sapporo and its suburbs were also suspended, causing traffic jams on main roads made narrower by piles of snow. JR Hokkaido did not announce any expected times for the resumption of services, which were also suspended from the first services in and out of Sapporo Station on February 8.
 
JR Hokkaido also suspended approximately 2,600 train services – one third of all services – over a 6-day period in mid-January, due to delays in removing snow from the tracks. At a press conference held on February 7, the company explained that “record snowfall over a short period of time has made snow removal difficult,” but passengers are becoming increasingly frustrated. A company employee (60) in the city who suffered from suspended services during his commute to work several times this winter said, “It’s very unusual for both trains and buses to be cancelled.”
 
Confusion also continued at New Chitose Airport, with long lines forming at bus stops at the domestic terminal, as they did on the previous day. A university student (22) from the city of Ebetsu, who was standing in line at the bus stop for services to Oyachi Bus Terminal in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo after returning from a trip to Fukui Prefecture, said, “It’s going to be a while before I can get a bus. I have to change to the subway and then take another bus to get home, which is pretty daunting.”
 
The record-breaking snowfall caused major traffic congestion in various parts of Sapporo. The city held a snow-damage measures liaison meeting on the 7th, in which Mayor Akimoto Katsuhiro ordered top priority to be given to the removal of snow from main roads and bus routes.
 
Many of the roads were so narrow that it was impossible for oncoming vehicles to pass. A representative of JR Hokkaido Bus (Sapporo), which suspended approximately 70% of its bus services, said, “Attempting to operate services when it’s not fit to do so may lead to accidents.”

National highway Route 12 in Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo, where heavy snowfall narrowed the lanes and vehicles were forced to make a single line. 4:50 p.m. on the 7th. Taken from the Hokkaido Shimbun Press helicopter
New Chitose Airport domestic terminal building, where JR services were suspended for the entire day and passengers formed long queues to board buses. 5 p.m. on the 7th

Location

JR Sapporo Station

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