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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki motorists keen to make the most of the Waitangi Day holiday are being encouraged to plan ahead, travel outside peak times and be prepared for the roads to be busier than normal.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has an interactive holiday journeys map(external link) for the long weekend, which shows predicted traffic flow across popular routes based on previous years’ travel patterns over Waitangi Day weekend.

Director Regional Relationships Ross I’Anson says many people will look to make the most of Waitangi Day falling on a Thursday by taking leave on Friday and heading to popular holiday spots for a long weekend.

“In the Waikato, delays are predicted on State Highway 2 Maramarua. Further delays are predicted on State Highway 1 in Taupiri and again at Karapiro. There’s also likely to be congestion on State Highway 1 at Tīrau and on State Highway 25A south of Tairua.

“In the Bay of Plenty, motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Ranges, on State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihī, and again between Katikati and Tauranga.”

Congestion is also likely for motorists travelling on State Highway 3 at Mt Messenger.

“Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and even driver behaviour we suggest that you check our Journey Planner(external link) before you leave for accurate information about current road and traffic conditions.”

Mr I’Anson says increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments are all good reasons to take extra care on the roads this holiday weekend.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, there will be less frustration and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination.

“Remember, you’re on holiday. There’s no need to rush.”

Tips for safe driving this long weekend

  • Check your car is in good ‘health’ before you head off. Check your tyre pressure and tread, windscreen wipers, indicators and lights.
  • Take extra care when travelling in holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments.
  • Drive to the conditions – whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or amount of traffic.
  • Avoid fatigue. Take regular breaks to stay alert.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.
  • Be patient – overtaking is unlikely to make a significant difference to your journey time due to the amount of traffic expected over the weekend.
  • Allow plenty of time. Remember you are on holiday, so there’s no need to rush.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey this summer

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