Source: New Zealand Transport Agency
Take our advice – planning ahead will ensure your holiday travel is safer and more enjoyable.
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With good advice for traffic lanes that flow…
“The roads around the Bay of Plenty and Waikato are likely to be busy as we approach Christmas and New Year’s, especially on State Highway 2 (SH2) in the Bay of Plenty and around the Coromandel,” says David Speirs, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships.
“Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, however if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, frustrations can be eased and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination,” says Mr Speirs.
Our Holiday Journeys traffic prediction tool shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday based on previous years travel patterns.
In the Coromandel, northbound traffic on State Highway 25 around Tairua is likely to be very heavy on Christmas Day and early afternoons Boxing Day and 27 December. Southbound around Tairua will be busy from New Year’s Day and drivers should expect busy traffic throughout the first week of the year in both directions.
Elsewhere in the Waikato, southbound on State Highway 1 Karāpiro to Tīrau is likely to be busy from 23 December until 26 December and northbound during the first few days of the new year.
SH2 between Pōkeno and Maramarua is expected to be busy eastbound in the afternoons from 23 December to Boxing Day, and again around New Years. Westbound, 8 January is the day to watch with heavy traffic anticipated early afternoon.
In the Bay of Plenty, traffic is likely to be at its heaviest on SH2 eastbound between Paeroa and Waihi on Monday 26 December from late morning until early afternoon, and again on 2 January.
SH2 will also be busy northbound and southbound between Tauranga and KatiKati in the lead up to Christmas and over New Year’s.
On State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Range west of Tauranga, expect Christmas Eve to Boxing Day to be busy eastbound. Our traffic prediction tool indicates drivers should expect heavy traffic on 8 January between 2 and 4pm.
“We stop most work before busy holiday travel periods like Christmas and New Year’s, to minimise disruption to people’s journeys, but leaving at non-peak hours can make travel safer and more enjoyable,” says Mr Speirs.
“Be patient when driving this summer so everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays together. Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely. 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.
“We also advise that you check that your vehicle is safe to drive before you set off on your summer holiday. Check your tyres have enough tread (the minimum tread is 1.5mm but the more tread, the better the grip). Ensure your lights, wipers and indicators work.”
While many of us are hoping it won’t rain on our parade over the holidays, be aware that roads can show signs of ‘bleeding seal’ or sticky surfaces when temperatures rise. This happens when the bitumen softens and rises above the chip seal road surface. Waka Kotahi contractors will be monitoring road surfaces and can deploy water trucks if needed.
Take care, stick to any temporary speed limits and drive to the conditions.
“Finally – a reminder that our crews will be out over the summer undertaking vital work to improve the state of our roads. Please slow down, leave space and be patient through roadworks, and most importantly, respect our crews while they undertake this important work on our roads.”
Worksites have traffic management in place to keep our crews safe, and any delays will be kept to a minimum.
“Take regular breaks to stay alert. Allow plenty of time. You’re on holiday, no need to rush.”
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Cars on every road
But the prettiest sight to see is the safe arrival that will be
At your own front door