The NZ Transport Agency is advising fans heading to Hamilton on Sunday for the RWC 2011 game between Wales and Fiji to leave early and allow ample time for a safe journey.
"We expect traffic to be heavy, and our advice to drivers is to leave early to avoid disappointment and make sure that they get to the ground well before the 6pm kick-off," says the NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland and North, Tommy Parker. "We will do everything we can to keep the state highways on both sides of the Bombay Hills flowing smoothly to help people get to the game on time."
Hamilton's mayor, Julie Hardaker, is also encouraging rugby fans to arrive early so that they can enjoy the city's hospitality and attractions.
"Hamilton has a reputation for being a party spot and we have really turned it on for the tournament. The atmosphere in the Fanzone has been amazing and there is so much happening before and after the game. We have an ice skating rink set up with lots of fun stuff for families going on around it in Garden Place, right in the centre of our city," Mayor Hardaker says.
The NZTA has completed improvements to State Highway 1 at Taupiri in Waikato to help drivers going to Hamilton, and those travelling further south. A left turn lane is in place for southbound traffic turning into SH1B to separate more effectively vehicles travelling straight through on SH1 from traffic making the turn.
Northbound traffic on SH1B will be diverted at Taupiri to Te Putu Street to ease congestion at the SH1/SH1B intersection.
Mr Parker says it is important that fans take their time to ensure a safe journey home after the game.
"People will be driving home in the dark, and even with all the improvements made to the highway between Hamilton and Auckland it is still important that people drive to the conditions, keep a safe following distance and keep their speeds down.
"Our goal is to ensure Rugby World Cup 2011 is not only a winning one for New Zealand, but a safe one as well. We don't want anyone's World Cup to be marred by an avoidable road crash," Mr Parker says.
Further information to help people with their transport is available on the following websites: