Safer Journeys in the Waikato this holiday season


With traffic expected to be heavy over Christmas and New Year, the NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists to plan ahead to avoid expected delays.

The new Kopu Bridge is now open but the NZTA warns that delays are still possible around the Coromandel Peninsula, particularly through Tairua on Coromandel's east coast, over the Christmas break and asks motorists to allow additional time for their journeys during this busy holiday period.

State Highway Manager Kaye Clark says, "Although traffic flows over the Kopu Bridge are expected to be smooth, during peak holiday periods queues at other points around the Coromandel are still possible. We will be closely monitoring peak holiday traffic flows throughout the Coromandel and will control traffic when needed."

Holiday makers travelling from Auckland to the Coromandel also need to be aware of the 90km/h speed limit now in operation along the majority of the 32km stretch of State Highway 2 between the SH1/2 interchange near Pokeno and the SH2/25 intersection near Mangatarata.

The exceptions will be the 6.2km Mangatawhiri Deviation, which will remain at 100km/h, and 1.8km through the Maramarua township where there will be no change to the 70km/h speed limit.

If necessary during peak travel times, NZTA will be closing the SH2 passing lanes at Mangatawhiri.

Mrs Clark says the closure of the passing lanes, which are supported by the Police, is done for safety reasons and to improve traffic flows.

"During peak travel periods such as the Christmas break, closing passing lanes helps traffic flow more smoothly and improves safety for motorists.The lanes will be appropriately signposted and fenced off with traffic cones, but we're reminding people to obey the normal road rules by keeping left."

The NZTA has stopped all road works on the state highway network over the Christmas period until 9 January. This excludes any work needed to be done for emergency purposes and routine maintenance activities

Mrs Clark says, "The important thing is to reach your destination safely. Even if it takes a little longer to get there, please be patient, keep your speeds down and take regular breaks on long journeys."

"We want to see everyone to have a safe journey on Waikato roads, especially over the holiday season," said Mrs Clark.