Plan ahead to avoid delays on Boxing Day


Traffic on Boxing Day (26 December) will be heavy on regional highways and roads and the NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists to plan for a safe journey and to avoid delays.

“This is one of the busiest times of the year on our highways,” says the Transport Agency’s Highway Manager Brett Gliddon. “We’ll have all our teams working to help manage traffic flows and keep everyone as safe as possible and informed about traffic and road conditions.”

He says one of the busiest highways will be the Northern Gateway Toll Road on State Highway 1 north of Auckland. “Last Christmas holiday, there were an average of 20,600 trips a day – the busiest day being 2 January when there were more than 24,600 trips.

“This tremendous increase in holiday traffic on the toll road indicates just how busy the highways will be in Auckland and Northland and why we need everyone to plan their trips, allowing plenty of time for a safe journey.”

Mr Gliddon says drivers heading north are encouraged to pre-pay their Northern Gateway toll online – link) – before they leave on their journey. “Not only will there be no need to stop to pay the toll, there will be no bills when you get back home either.

“To help plan your journey, the Transport Agency has produced a congestion map for both the North and South Islands. If heading north from Auckland on Boxing Day, expect SH1 to be busy from 9am to 6pm, with the heaviest traffic from 10am to 2pm. If heading south, SH1 will be busy from 11am to 1pm.”

For details on traffic flows on SH1 and SH2 for the Christmas-New Year period and the days and times when motorists may like to consider alternative travel, visit link)

While it is planned there will be no work on highways outside Auckland City from 19 December to 5 January, there will be speed restrictions at a number of sites on SH1, SH12 and SH14 in Northland and the Transport Agency asks motorists to observe the limits.

“These restrictions will be in place, even though the site will be unoccupied, and we ask everyone observes these to be safe and protect the works which are in the process of being completed.”

Northland sites with safety speed restrictions are:

  • Kimberley/Waihopo Bridges – 80km/h because of an uneven surface
  • Mangamuka Gorge – 50km/h because of slips in two locations
  • Turntable Hill (Moerewa) – 70km/h with the passing lane closed because of a slip
  • Maromaku – 30km/h because of a temporary deviation road around a slip
  • South Hukerenui Bridge – 70km/h because of an uneven surface
  • Whananaki North Road – 70km/h because of an uneven surface
  • Brynderwyns North – 50km/h with the passing lane closed due to a slip
  • Wairau Summit – 30km/h because of a slip
  • Maitahi (Mamaranui)– 50km/h because of a slippery surface
  • Pukehuia (Tangiteroria) – 50km/because of an uneven surface

Within Auckland, Mr Gliddon says motorists are advised of possible delays on the Harbour Bridge with the two northbound clip-on lanes, as well as the Curran Street on-remap and Stafford Road off-ramp being closed over the Christchurch-New Year holiday period for annual resurfacing work. The closure is from 7am on Friday 26 December to 5.30am on Thursday 8 January.

The six other traffic lanes on the harbour bridge will remain open during this time – three in each direction.

The resurfacing work is part of the Agency’s ongoing maintenance programme that takes place every day of the year to ensure that the harbour bridge is kept in a first class and safe condition for Auckland’s communities.

On the Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16), there will be lane closures from 4am on Saturday 27 December to 5am on Monday 5 January as the second section of the Te Atatu Road overbridge it raised to improve the clearance for motorway traffic underneath.

The lane closures will be:

  • Te Atatu Rd will be reduced to a single lane in each direction over the bridge between Te Atatu South and Te Atatu Peninsula 4am Saturday 27 December to 5am Monday 5 January
  • The Northwestern motorway will be reduced to a single lane each way under the Te Atatu Bridge during the day, and then closed under the bridge from 10pm each night.  All lanes on the motorway will be open on New Year’s Eve night (31 December) and New Year’s Day (1January)
  • The Te Atatu city bound loop onramp will be closed from Saturday 27 December to Monday 5 January

“Throughout the summer season, there is a lot of work happening across the highway network throughout Auckland and Northland and this could impact on your journeys. Keep up-to-date with what is happening by visiting our Summer Season Journeys website – link)

“The website helps you plan ahead and choose the best times and routes to avoid delays and reduce stress. Don’t forget, you can also follow us on twitter(external link) and facebook(external link) to get the latest updates,” Mr Gliddon says.

For more information please contact:

Jan McCarthy
Media Manager - Christchurch

T: 03 964 2885
M: 021 427 442