The NZ Transport Agency is urging people heading away for the long weekend to plan ahead and avoid delays by checking out the Highway Hotspots information for Queen’s Birthday Weekend, available on a new interactive map at www.nzta.govt.nz/hotspots.
Traffic volumes are typically significantly heavier at the beginning and the end of long weekends and holiday periods, so the Transport Agency’s travel information team has crunched the numbers from previous holiday periods to show where and when traffic is likely to be heaviest.
Transport Agency Canterbury/ West Coast Journey Manager Lee Wright says thousands of people are expected to hit the roads around the South Island over the long weekend.
"Lots of people are expected to head out of Christchurch for a three-day break and what is for many the last long weekend until Labour Weekend in October. Motorists should be prepared for possible traffic queues and delays on State Highway 1, both north and south of Christchurch.
“Planning in advance can help ease stress inside the car, making for a safer and more enjoyable journey for everyone, passengers and drivers. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking regular breaks from driving to avoid fatigue or sharing the driving if you can.
'Weather will also play a big role in determining the busiest peaks for people returning home again, so using real time travel information is the best way to get up to date and accurate information via email notifications. Before you leave, check our Traffic and Travel pages,(external link) which has links to maps, traffic cameras around the country, delays and detours.
“People can also sign up to On the move(external link) customised travel alerts just to cover their journeys, or to cover the whole region they are driving around.”
The Brass Monkey Rally(external link) is held annually in Oturehua, Central Otago, with motorcyclists travelling from all over the South Island and further afield.
“Please take care around motorcyclists and give them plenty of road room,” says the Transport Agency’s Otago/ Southland Journey Manager Graeme Hall. “Expect to see considerably more motorcycles than usual on State Highway 1 - Picton to Bluff, SH6 - along the West Coast, Nelson through the Haast Pass, and all the Otago highways, in particular SH8, Cromwell to Milton via Raes Junction, SH85 – Palmerston to Alexandra via Idaburn, and SH87 – Mosgiel to Kyeburn via Middlemarch.”
This Sunday 5 June, the Christchurch Airport Marathon will take place(external link). There will be significant travel restrictions in place from 6am-2pm in the CBD and eastern suburbs. Detailed information can be found here(external link) including all road closures, bus and parking information.
The annual movement of dairy cows occurs in the days before and after 1 June so drivers should not be surprised to see cows on local roads and highways in a few places.
The Transport Agency thanks drivers, motorcyclists and all road users for building in some time, planning and being patient so we all get away safely and get home safely.