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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi and Auckland Transport are urging those heading away this Easter to plan ahead in order to avoid traffic congestion, queues and long delays.

People can plan their route prior to leaving home using the Waka Kotahi holiday journey planner, an online tool that shows predicted traffic conditions based on last year’s travel patterns.

Holiday journey planner(external link)

Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton says with Easter and ANZAC long weekends being back-to-back this year, Waka Kotahi is expecting roads to be very busy.

“Many holiday-makers will likely take the opportunity to have an extended break over Easter. We expect traffic will be heavy heading out of Auckland, and slow in and around popular Northland holiday spots.

“Our advice is to avoid delays and long queues in these areas where possible by planning ahead. Leaving before or after those peak travel times can make a big difference, so be sure to check your route using the Waka Kotahi journey planner,” said Mr Mutton.

Auckland Transport’s Executive General Manger Safety, Stacey van der Putten, says the region’s roads are likely to be busy throughout the Easter period and it’s important for drivers to expect some delays.

“With many roads across Auckland set to be busier than usual we’re asking drivers to be patient, considerate, and to keep an eye out for changes to speed limits and road layouts which have occurred over the past couple of years.

“Simple things like stopping for an extra coffee or a rest if you’re tired or travelling that little bit slower when there’s poor visibility in the rain can make such a big difference to road safety across our region,” said Ms Van der Putten.

For those heading south from Auckland through Manukau on SH1, the busiest times are between 1:00pm and 9:00pm on Thursday, and between 8:30am and 3:00pm on Friday. For return travel on Monday, the motorway is expected to be busiest from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

The roads around Northland are likely to be busiest on State Highway 1 through Puhoi between 3:00pm and 6:00pm on Thursday, and on Friday between 11:00am and 3:00pm. Returning from Northland on Monday, the busiest times are between 12:00pm and 5:00 pm.

To avoid added traffic disruption in Northland, and to keep work crews safe, Waka Kotahi, together with our partners, is restricting works over the holiday period. All sites must be closed by 12 noon Thursday (14 April), and can’t restart until 9am, Tuesday 19 April. A small number of sites are allowed to continue working and we ask motorists to please take extra care when passing workers at these sites.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone allows plenty of time for travel, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, there will be less frustration for everyone on the road,” said Mr Mutton.

“Everyone deserves to get where they are going safely on our roads, so please allow plenty of time and remember – you’re on holiday – there’s no need to rush.”

Those heading north can also make the most of a ‘driver reviver’ pitstop which will be set up 10am-4pm Thursday 14 April on SH1, Uretiti, south of Ruakaka.  Organised by Waka Kotahi’s partners at the Northland Transportation Alliance, the driver reviver pitstop looks to address driver fatigue by providing a safe pullover point, and coffee and a bite to eat for those heading North for the long weekend.

As well as taking regular breaks to avoid fatigue, there are simple things drivers can do to keep everyone on the roads safe:

  • Make sure your vehicle is safe to drive – check tyres, wipers, lights and indicators
  • Ensure you have a valid WoF (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 from vehicles in front so you can stop safely, especially if the roads are wet

We encourage everyone to do their part to help ensure a safe Easter weekend, both on and off the road.

Because predicted travel times can change based on traffic incidents and weather, motorists are encouraged to visit Waka Kotahi’s journey planner website before they travel – for real-time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures.