The NZ Transport Agency is reminding motorists to plan ahead for travel this coming long weekend, and for attendance at ANZAC Day services on Monday.
Motorists are asked to think through their travel plans well in advance, and leave plenty of time up their sleeves for their journeys.
Based on previous year’s data, the Transport Agency is predicting that the heaviest time for Wellington traffic will be northbound along the Kapiti coast between 2:30pm - 6:00pm on Friday 22 April.
“To help get everyone through the area as smoothly as possible, some passing opportunities on State Highway 1 will be closed at peak travel times,” Mark Owen, Regional Performance Manager, Wellington says.
“When traffic is building up, closing passing lanes during holiday peaks actually means more consistent traffic flows and it’s safer for everyone.”
The left hand turning lane at the Otaihanga roundabout will be closed to northbound traffic this Friday 22 April. Local traffic will still be able to turn into and out of Otaihanga but through traffic will not be able to use the turning lane to queue jump. The northbound passing lane at Te Horo will also be closed to improve traffic flows heading north.
On ANZAC day, Monday 25 April, the southbound passing lane on State Highway 1 at Forest Lakes, north of Otaki heading south will also be closed, and extra traffic management will be in place at the roundabout in Otaki township, to improve traffic flows back into Wellington.
“The lanes will be appropriately signposted and fenced off with traffic cones, and we’re reminding people to obey the normal road rules by keeping left. If traffic remains heavy, passing lanes will remain closed longer until we are satisfied traffic flows have reduced.”
“We all play a part in making our roads safer for everyone using them. Plan ahead, be patient and share the driving if possible. Get plenty of rest before a big trip and stop for regular breaks. When returning to Wellington, Levin is a good spot to stop for a rest before joining the traffic north of Ōtaki,” Mr Owen says.
People can also plan ahead if they attending an ANZAC service on Monday, or are travelling around Wellington city at the time of the services.
There will be a number of road closures around Pukeahu National War Memorial, including Arras Tunnel which will be closed from midnight until 10am on Monday morning. A full list of road closures and parking restrictions is available on the Wellington City Council’s website(external link).
“We recommend that those attending the Dawn Ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial plan ahead, and if driving, allow extra time to walk from your car, and expect delays due to road closures for the service,” Mr Owen says.
For those who opt to use public transport to get to ANZAC services, train services will be running to a normal public holiday timetable with limited extra early services on the Kapiti, Hutt Valley and Johnsonville lines. Limited free shuttle buses will be running on demand directly between Wellington Station and Pukeahu Memorial Park between 4:00am - 1:00pm. Full details of public transport services are available on the Metlink website(external link).
“These days, before you head out the door, you can go online to plan your journey, whether it’s by car, train or bus,” Mr Owen says.
“We’ve put together ‘hotspot’ maps to show the peak holiday traffic times to help people decide the best time to travel. Our online real time highway information service will tell you whether there are any travel warnings or closures ahead. You can also check out the cameras to see how traffic is moving in and out of the city. This means you can choose the best route and time of day to make your journey safely and without rushing.”
“Keeping up to date with traffic conditions means that motorists can make informed travel choices and reduce the chance of experiencing delays during high traffic flows on the highway,” says Mr Owen.
“Motorists can also have a safer and smoother journey if they follow the speed signs, focus on the road, minimise lane changes, and merge like a zip.”