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New initiatives to make Fieldays travel easier launched

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Fieldays® and the NZ Transport Agency are teaming up to make visitors’ journeys to Fieldays 2015 safer and easier.

High-tech Bluetooth ‘blip trackers’, a dedicated hashtag, and a webpage are among the new initiatives designed to help people plan, and share, their Fieldays travels with live, real-time traffic information.

A network of units, which use Bluetooth technology, have been placed at Fieldays and key central North Island towns such as Hamilton, Rotorua, Cambridge and Tauranga.

The devices use Bluetooth technology to record actual travel times for vehicles between the location of the trackers and Mystery Creek. This information will be regularly updated at drivelive.nz/fieldays(external link). The website will go live on June 9.

The Transport Agency’s Waikato highways manager, Kaye Clark says social media users heading to Fieldays can share their travel experiences and get live travel advice and information by using the hashtag #Fieldaystravel.

“This hashtag will be monitored by our National Travel Information Service team, who will be standing by to answer any queries and let people know about any incidents or flooding on the key routes to and from the Fieldays so they can try another road if need be,” she says.

“We will also be looking to share travel information on electronic message boards around the Waikato, as far north as Auckland, and in other areas such as the Bay of Plenty. These will help people to make informed decisions about what route to take and how long they might expect to spend on their journey.

“Yes, the traffic will be busy during Fieldays and there will be hold ups for some people. This is such a popular event that attracts thousands to our region and we can’t change the amount of traffic, but we can make the trip more predictable for people.

“These new initiatives will ensure people can plan when to leave and what time they will arrive. Not only will travellers know what to expect, they will be able to share that information with others.”

NZ National Fieldays Society™ CEO Jon Calder says Fieldays is happy to work with the Transport Agency to provide a better travel experience to the event.

“With thousands of people travelling to Fieldays via State Highways 1 and 3 and their associated arterial routes, ensuring our customers and visitors have the most expedient travel time to Fieldays is really important,” he says.

“If we experience severe weather, road accidents or high levels of congestion, all factors beyond our control, the traffic flow slows dramatically and impacts travel times to Mystery Creek. We acknowledge the massive inconvenience and disruption that this causes our customers and we’ve been working with the Transport Agency to develop solutions to improve this for Fieldays 2015.

“We have an extremely efficient and effective parking and traffic management program onsite, developed and refined over many years. For an event of Fieldays’ size and scale, it works very well. What we can’t control is what happens beyond the Mystery Creek gates, but we absolutely recognise that this is a critical influencer on our customer experience.

“By partnering with the Transport Agency, we are able to make travellers aware immediately if there has been an accident or flooding and redirect them to a faster route, as well as keeping them informed of expected travel times via the Transport Agency electronic traffic boards.

“On site we’ll be able to send push notifications via the Fieldays App, letting visitors know when traffic is building or if there are major delays.

“This is a fantastic initiative and we’re excited to put it into play for Fieldays 2015.”

Fieldays will be sharing the link to their website and live travel information will be going up on the loud speaker at the event.

Visitors will also be able to get travel and safety information at the Transport Agency’s new look site on the corner of D Street and O Road, by Kiwi's Best Kitchen. 

“We will also be showcasing our safer journeys approach to road safety, our new electronic toll points, and there will also be two driving simulators where you can test your driving skills at the site,” Mrs Clark says.

“People that come and see us and sign up for info on our updated national travel information service OnTheMove will also go in the draw to win one of four TomTom Go50 GPS devices. We have one to give away on each day of the Fieldays.”

WHAT:  Live, real time travel information for people travelling to Fieldays 2015

HOW: ‘Bliptrackers’ have been placed at Fieldays and key towns around the central North Island including Hamilton, Cambridge, Tirau, Te Awamutu, Rotorua and Tauranga.

They will gather real-time travel information and send it to  www.drivelive.nz/fieldays(external link) so people can find out how long their journey will take. The units do not gather or record personal information and cannot be linked to an individual.

A dedicated hashtag for social media users to get up to date travel information and share their journey experience with other Fieldays visitors. This is monitored by the Transport Agency’s National Travel Information team.  #Fieldaystravel

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