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Highway delays continue, but improving: NZTA thanks drivers

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Wellingtonians have proved an adaptive bunch, and the NZ Transport Agency is thanking the public for making changes to their usual travel plans this morning to help manage congestion levels.

NZTA Central Operations Manager Mark Owen says that commuters between Wellington and the Hutt Valley endured lengthy delays this morning, and continued disruption throughout the week will be unavoidable while KiwiRail worked hard to restore storm-damaged rail services. However, delays were less severe than Monday, and morning queues on the highways had largely dissipated by 10am.
 
Mr Owen says travel patterns observed today by the Wellington Traffic Operations Centre showed more drivers were heeding advice to leave home early or postpone their travel until late in the morning.  Carpooling and working from home where possible was also helping to keep traffic moving.
 
“On Monday, traffic was at a virtual standstill for long periods, whereas this morning it was continuously moving, albeit pretty slowly. This shows the message has gotten through to many Wellingtonians that avoiding peak hour travel means less time waiting in traffic jams.
 
“Motorists will continue to face traffic jams throughout the week during peak times, but the good news is that by spreading out their travel times, some of the sting has already been taken out of the delays.
 
“If people are able to leave work earlier than usual, or stay a little bit later at the office, gym, or out enjoying our sunny waterfront, then they’re likely to avoid the worst of the bottlenecks."
 
Mr Owen says it was encouraging to see many employers offering flexible work options where possible, enabling their workers to beat the traffic.
 
He says the NZTA are working closely with KiwiRail, NZ Police, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington City Council to keep Wellingtonians moving and well informed during this challenging time.
 
“We’re grateful to the public for being so understanding – we know these delays are a headache and travellers have been really patient.”
 
The NZTA, along with partners Wellington City Council, would be monitoring traffic levels closely from Wellington's Traffic Operations Centre, and will be updating electronic information signs and issuing traffic alerts and tweets to keep motorists informed in real time.
 
The NZTA’s website is regularly updated with information about most delays, closures and detours at www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link). This information is also available by phoning the NZTA’s free phone on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49), which can also be used to report any significant road issues or hazards which people may come across during their travels. People can follow @nztawgtn on Twitter for live updates, and check the NZTA’s traffic website to check out live traffic camera feeds..
 
The NZTA also uses other technology to provide information to enable drivers to make better informed choices about their travel. On The Move is a free service which enables people to sign up for information about crashes, road works and driving conditions on their frequently used routes - to sign up, go to www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link).
 
People can sign up to Greater Wellington's Let's Carpool service at www.letscarpool.govt.nz/in-your-area/wellington-region/(external link).
 
For more information or images please contact:

Anthony Frith
Media Manager – Central Region
T    04 894 5251
M   027 213 7617
E    anthony.frith@nzta.govt.nz

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