Beat the peak: Plan ahead to minimise travel delays this Labour weekend


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is anticipating high volumes of traffic on state highways and ’hotspot’ local roads across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty this Labour Day long weekend.

Director Regional Relationships Steve Mutton says Labour Day weekend travel is predicted to be very busy this year due to people only being able to travel inter-regionally during COVID-19 restrictions.

“Travel may be more spread out across the country this year with holiday makers taking the opportunity to have a longer break either side of Labour Day weekend and exploring different regions to normal.

“In the Waikato, delays are predicted on State Highway 2 Maramarua. Further delays are predicted on State Highway 1 south of Cambridge at Karapiro and on State Highway 25 at both the Kopu Bridge and at 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 Waihi and again between Katikati and Tauranga.”

Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable Labour Day weekend with the help of the Waka Kotahi holiday journeys map. The map shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the Labour Day weekend based on previous years travel patterns.

Holiday journeys map(external link)

Mr Mutton says motorists should take extra care when travelling in holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments.

“Consider travelling outside peak times when traffic is lighter to make your trip safer and more enjoyable. Allow plenty of time and take regular breaks.

Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and even driver behaviour, check the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website for real-time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures before you head off.

Journey Planner(external link)

“While most road work stops before busy holiday travel periods like Labour weekend, motorists in the Bay of Plenty should allow extra time if travelling through the Te Maunga intersection of SH2 and State Highway 29A, where there have been recent delays following the change from a roundabout to a signalised intersection to enable construction on the Bay Link project. Similarly, motorists should consider allowing more time if travelling through the State Highway 30/Tarawera Road roundabout in Rotorua, which has undergone recent changes as part of works to upgrade the intersection.”

Mr Mutton says those travelling between Waikato and Taranaki are also advised to allow additional time due to significant work sites on State Highway 3, including the Awakino Tunnel Bypass project.

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

“Remember you’re on holiday, so there is no need to rush."

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