Plan ahead for Labour weekend travel

Waka Kotahi NZTA is asking motorists to plan ahead for the holiday weekend. File Image. SunLive.

Waka Kotahi NZTA is encouraging motorists to use its holiday journey planner to check traffic predictions so they can plan their trips before they leave.

The holiday journey planner shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes over the Labour Weekend period, based on travel patterns from previous years.

Director of Regional Relationships David Speirs says despite the Level 3 lockdowns in Auckland and parts of the Waikato, the roads around the Bay of Plenty are likely to be busy with holidaymakers as we approach Labour weekend.

“In the Bay of Plenty, motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Ranges, particularly heading east, toward Tauranga, on Friday between 2.30pm and 6.30pm, and westbound, toward the Waikato, on Monday between 3.00pm and 4.00pm,” says David.

“SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi is expected to be busy heading east, toward Waihi, on Friday between 2.30pm and 6.30pm, Saturday from 11.00am and 3.00pm, and Sunday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Westbound, toward Paeroa, traffic will be heaviest between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Monday westbound.

“Motorists should also expect delays for northbound traffic on SH2 between Tauranga and Katikati on Friday afternoon between 2.30pm and 6.00pm, and southbound, toward Tauranga, between 1.30pm and 6.30pm.”

Those travelling outside of the region to the Coromandel Peninsula should expect delays on State Highway 25 at Tairua for northbound traffic between 3.30pm and 7.00pm on Friday, and southbound between 3.00pm to 4.30pm on Sunday and 9.00am to 7.30pm on Monday.

Because predicted peak times for travel may change based on traffic incidents, weather, driver behaviour, or changes in Covid-19 alert levels, motorists are encouraged to visit journeys.nzta.govt.nz before they head off for the latest information on road works, road closures and delays.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone plans ahead before leaving home, leaves plenty of time for their journey, and drives to the conditions the worst of the frustrations can be eased and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination," says David.

There are simple things we can all do to help keep everyone on the roads safe, David advises.

“Check your vehicle is safe to drive. Check your tyres, wipers, lights and indicators, and ensure you have a valid Warrant of Fitness before you leave.

“Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads.

“Keep a safe following distance and take regular breaks to stay alert.”

Waka Kotahi NZTA is also encouraging people to keep track of where they’re going with the NZ Covid Tracer app and to check the Covid-19 website for information on alert levels and travel before you head off on holiday.

“We’re asking everyone to do their part to help ensure a safe Labour weekend, both on and off the road,” David concludes.

The holiday journey planner for this weekend is available at www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/labour-weekend.

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