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Traffic and travel updates: visit the Journey Planner website(external link) for more information about the latest road closures affecting the South Island following the recent weather events.

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Heavy traffic and changeable weather conditions in Wellington this weekend

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The NZ Transport Agency is urging drivers to take care and be prepared for heavy traffic, delays and changeable weather conditions in the Wellington region this Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

“This will be one of the busiest weekends on our roads, with thousands of Kiwis expected to head out on long road journeys,” Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says.

“Wellingtonians should expect heavy traffic in and out of Wellington, especially on State Highway 1 northbound on Friday 31 May and southbound on Monday 3 June.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable at peak times, so we want to remind drivers to leave plenty of time for their journey and plan ahead before leaving home.

“The MetService is forecasting wet weather and high winds in the region for most of the weekend, so it’s important that drivers take extra care and drive to the conditions.

“It’s also worth taking a few minutes to check the basics and make sure your vehicle is safe before heading out.

“Check your tyres for pressure and tread; check that your wiper blades are in a good condition in the case of wet weather; check your indicators are working, especially if you’re towing; check for signs of rust; and check that your lights and headlights are in good working order.”

To improve safety on Paekākāriki Hill Road and reduce journey times on State Highway 1, Paekākāriki Hill Road will be closed to through traffic on Friday 31 May between 3pm and 7pm.

As with previous closures, Paekākāriki Hill Road residents and people working or visiting properties on the road will be able to enter from the State Highway 1 at Paekākāriki and Pauatahanui. However, anyone wanting to exit during the closure will need to use an alternate route such as Grays Road.

“It’s important to remember that we all play a part in making our roads safer. We want everyone to arrive safely at their destination this weekend, so we all need to take responsibility for the safety of ourselves and other road users,” Mr Owen says.

More tips for safe long-distance driving:

  • Drive with your headlights on and be seen.
  • Increase following distances.
  • Plan your journey, prepare for delays, and be mindful of other road users.
  • Avoid travel in bad weather if you can. Allow extra time if your travel can’t be delayed.
  • If driving a long way, take regular breaks and share the driving where you can.
  • Don’t attempt to overtake other traffic unless it’s completely safe to do so – it’s not worth the risk.
  • If you are towing or driving slowly, regularly pull over to let other vehicles pass.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:

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