News from NZ Transport Agency
State highway traffic will be heavy this weekend as holidaymakers return home after their Christmas/New Year break and the NZTA advises people to plan their travel to avoid delays.
State highways in Northland, Auckland and northern Waikato will all be busy and the NZTA’s Regional Traffic Operations Manager, Kathryn Musgrave, says there are choices to ensure the drive home is a smooth and safe one:-
• Time your travel to avoid late morning and mid-afternoon, when traffic volumes are heavy
• People driving between Auckland and Northland should consider SH16 between Wellsford, Silverdale and west Auckland to avoid heavy traffic on SH1 north of Auckland.
• Drivers using the Northern Gateway Toll Road on SH1 should pre-pay their trip to avoid having to stop and queue at the manual payment kiosks.
“Driving during the holidays at this time of year can be risky and people need to be alert,” Kathryn Musgrave says. “There’s more traffic about which can increase the chance of a crash, and the heat, fatigue, and the urge to speed all add to the risk.”
Ms Musgrave says planning will make the drive home safer: allow plenty of time, share the driving, and pull over for a break.
“You’ll be sharing state highways and roads with sightseers driving slowly, campervans, buses, vehicles towing boats or caravans, and cyclists and motorcyclists – courtesy, patience and giving other drivers plenty of space will help reduce the frustration.”
The NZTA reminds drivers the toll road kiosks will be busy. It says people can avoid delays by prepaying their trip on-line at www.tollroad.govt.nz or by freephone 0800 40 20 20. (The call centre is open weekdays from 8am to 6pm, but closed at the weekends). People also have 5 days to pay after using the toll road. The NZTA reminds drivers that administration charges in addition to the toll apply for trips paid for at the kiosks and by phone. No additional administration charge applies to a trip bought on-line.