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Highways busy for region’s holiday weekend

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Auckland motorists are being encouraged by the NZ Transport Agency to plan ahead for safer travel and to be aware of potential delays on regional state highways this Auckland Anniversary Weekend.

“Traditionally, this is one of our busiest times of the year,” says the Transport Agency’s Acting Auckland and Northland Highway Manager Mieszko Iwaskow.

“Traffic will be heavy on highways both to the north and south of Auckland and it’s important that people are patient and are prepared for delays.”

Mr Iwaskow says one of the busiest highways will be the Northern Gateway Toll Road on State Highway 1, north of Auckland. “Last Auckland Anniversary Weekend, there were an average of more than 21,000 trips a day on the toll road, the peak being on the Friday with 22,027 trips.”

He says road works sites throughout Northland and many in Auckland shut down at noon today and will not re-open again until noon on Tuesday, to help reduce delays and make travel safer for everyone. “While no work will be underway, we ask motorists to observe the temporary speed limits in place to keep everyone safe and protect the works that are underway.

“The Transport Agency is undertaking a lot of work across the highway network throughout Auckland and Northland this summer. To keep up-to-date with what is happening, visit our Summer Season Journeys website – www.nzta.govt.nz/summerseason.”

Electronic signs alongside the highways will be used this weekend to help keep everyone informed about conditions ahead.

“There are several risk factors associated with the holiday period: unfamiliar routes where driving conditions and terrain may be different, sharing the road with a lot more traffic, fatigue, heat, congestion, noisy children – they can all combine to make driving riskier. 

“Staying alert and giving the road the attention it deserves increases safety for drivers, their passengers, and other road users,” Mr Iwaskow says.

There are several options to help people plan safer travel:-

Check the Transport Agency’s website, www.nzta.govt.nz for travel information, or sign up to  www.onthemove.govt.nz for up-to-date information about the route they plan to use; freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS and 0800 111 655 for national and regional travel updates

People using the Northern Gateway Toll Road on SH1 can prepay tolls at www.tollroad.govt.nz or at 0800 402020 (the call centre will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, but is open on Anniversary Monday)

Consider using State Highway 16 for travel between Northland and Auckland to avoid congestion on SH1 around Warkworth as people head to the popular eastern beaches.

“Our websites help you plan ahead and choose the best times to travel and routes to avoid delays and reduce stress. Don’t forget, you can also follow us on twitter and facebook to get the latest updates.”

He says it is important to remember that we all play a part in making our roads safer for everyone using them.
  
“We all make mistakes sometimes, but mistakes on the road can have serious or even deadly consequences.  Staying alert, keeping your speeds down, being courteous and driving to the conditions are all key elements of a safe journey this holiday weekend.”

For more information please contact:

Jan McCarthy
Media Manager - Christchurch
NZ Transport Agency

T: 03 964 2885 
M: 021 427 442
E: jan.mccarthy@nzta.govt.nz

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