The NZ Transport Agency is encouraging people in the Wellington region who are heading away for the long weekend, to plan their travel for a safe and enjoyable trip.
“This is the last long weekend for a few months and the last one before winter really sets in, so many people take the opportunity to head up the coast or over the hill for a break, or visit friends and family,” Mark Owen, Regional Performance Manager, NZ Transport Agency says.
Predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and changes in driver travel patterns.
“Going online to plan your journey before getting on the road reduces the chance of experiencing delays during high traffic flows on the highway. Our online real-time highway information service(external link) 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.” Mr Owen says.
“Motorists can also find out what the expected peak travel times are on the agency’s Queen’s Birthday Weekend hotspots map(external link) to plan their travel and avoid peak holiday traffic.”
Based on previous years travel patterns, the web page has maps and graphs showing the busiest times on state highway routes.
The Transport Agency is predicting that the heaviest time for Wellington traffic over the long weekend will be northbound on SH 1 along the Kāpiti coast between 2.30pm – 4.30pm on Friday 2 June, and that traffic will be busy between 9.00am and 3.30pm on Saturday 3 June.
On Monday 5 June southbound traffic is predicted to be heaviest southbound on SH 1, between 2.30pm and 7.00pm.
Mr Owen says as well as planning their journeys in advance, people should drive with patience and avoid taking chances when turning or overtaking.
“Driving with courtesy can keep traffic flowing smoothly and helps ensure the roads remain safe. 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.”
“Before each long weekend we consider the best way to keep traffic flowing. With this in mind the northbound Te Horo passing lane will be closed between 10am – 8pm on Friday 2 June and Saturday 3 June.
“On Monday 5 June, as people head back into Wellington, we will be closing the southbound passing lane at Forest Lakes. When traffic is building up, closing passing lanes during holiday peaks actually means more consistent traffic flows and it’s safer for everyone,” Mr Owen says.
“Our Transport Operations Centre will be closely monitoring Monday’s traffic back into Wellington, and if necessary we’ll put in place diversions for local traffic at the Ōtaki roundabout to help manage the traffic flow back into Wellington and ensure that everyone’s journey home is smoother.”
“Driving conditions can be challenging during winter and weather events can be unpredictable, so remember to keep safe and drive to the conditions, look out for changes in traffic, road and weather conditions, and reduce your speed accordingly,” Mr Owen says.
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