Gisborne motorists urged to stay safe and plan ahead this summer


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is urging motorists in the Gisborne region to stay safe and plan ahead this summer.

"Roads across Tairāwhiti are always busy during the Christmas and New Year period, with many tourists and holidaymakers heading to our region for their summer holidays,” Regional Transport Systems Manager Oliver Postings says.

“Traffic will be particularly heavy from December 28 through to January 1, with many visitors coming to town to celebrate New Years’ Eve and be among the first to see the sun rise in 2020.

“It’s inevitable that motorists will experience congestion and delays at peak times, but the worst of the frustrations can be eased if everyone plans ahead, leaves plenty of time for their journey, and drives to the conditions.

“Be patient and keep a safe following distance. We want everyone to arrive at their destination safely and it’s important that we all take responsibility to stay safe on our roads.”

The Transport Agency has produced an interactive holiday journeys map(external link) which shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the summer holidays, based on previous years’ travel patterns.

“This tool can help motorists decide whether to take an alternative route or whether to leave when traffic is lighter, either early in the morning or late at night,” Mr Postings says.

There will be a summer speed restriction of 70 kilometres per hour in place around the Pouawa freedom camping area on State Highway 35 from December 20 to February 1. This will improve safety for campers coming and going from the site.

Motorists travelling through Waioeka Gorge on State Highway 2 on December 28 should expect delays with an all-day fatigue stop being run alongside Police and the local council.

There will also be local road closures affecting Gladstone Road Bridge on State Highway 35 and congestion on the bridge as pedestrians vie for the best viewing spot for the annual fireworks on January 1, so delays should be expected between 4pm and 10pm.

“Motorists are advised to take extra care when driving through road work sites and follow all temporary speed restrictions to ensure everyone stays safe on our roads,” Mr Postings says.

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