The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and police are reminding people travelling south of Hamilton to plan their journeys around Fieldays traffic this week. NZTA State Highway Manager, Kaye Clark, says Fieldays is traditionally a busy time traffic-wise, with people flying or driving into the region from all over New Zealand and from overseas.
"We always experience a significant increase in traffic volumes on SH1, SH3 and SH21 during Fieldays week as people head into Mystery Creek off Airport Road (SH21)," says Mrs Clark. "Police have excellent traffic management systems in place around this, but we'd like to remind people to be aware of the busy roads near the Fieldays site during this period."
Inspector Leo Tooman, Waikato Road Policing Manager is also keen to remind people to use SH3 to get to Fieldays, rather than overloading SH1. "We've noticed that everybody seems to want to use SH1- and SH3 is being under-used – yet it's often the quickest option." Inspector Tooman says other 'hot spots' where people might experience delays because of Fieldays traffic include intermittent queuing on Tauwhare Road as cars come off SH1B; and in Cambridge, at the intersection of Shakespeare Road and SH1 in the evenings, as people return to the town from the event.
"We will have points people on duty at that intersection during peak time to manage that situation," says Inspector Tooman. "There will also be points duty staff on deck at either end of the day at each end of Airport Road where it intersects with SH1 and SH3. We'll be there from 7.00 am each morning until the road is clear and we'll return between 3.30 pm – 6.00 pm to assist during the evening peak traffic times."
Kaye Clark adds that it's also important to stay alert and manage the gaps between vehicles when traffic slows down. "Police have noticed that some people get distracted and leave 100-200m between cars, whereas others follow too closely and aren't prepared when vehicles stop suddenly in front of them. It's all about taking extra care, being patient, planning ahead for your journey to take account of the increased traffic, watching your speeds and always driving to the conditions."
Meanwhile visitors to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) site at this year's Fieldays (13-16 June) will have a chance to find out about the agency's work around the Safer Journeys strategy and other related activities currently in the spotlight: and get information on key NZTA projects happening around the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region.
"We'll have a range of displays including video footage of our key safety campaigns and a variety of posters and information leaflets and factsheets," says Manager, Access and Use, David Pearks. "There'll also be two ANCAP 'crashed cars' on display onsite, comparing the different impacts an accident is likely to have on an ANCAP 2-star rated vehicle in comparison with a 5-star rated vehicle. Plus, an 'over-dimensional' tractor and trailer unit will be on view, to enable rural visitors in particular to see the types of signage required on wider and/or longer agricultural vehicles."