The NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists to take extra care when they return home after their Easter break because of the end of daylight saving during the long weekend.
Clocks go back one hour at 3am on Sunday, 4 April.
The NZTA’s Regional Director for Auckland and Northland, Wayne McDonald, says the change means people should plan the timing of their homeward journeys.
“The clocks going back an hour increases the risk of late afternoon sun strike when the roads will be busy with holiday traffic, and it will also get darker earlier in the evenings,” Mr McDonald added.
Holiday traffic leaving Auckland for Northland and the Coromandel will start building up from midday on Thursday [1 April].
Coromandel-bound Aucklanders can avoid expected queues at Kopu Bridge in Waikato by using an alternative route via SH2 and SH26. The NZTA says road-side messages will inform drivers of conditions ahead so that they can choose their preferred holiday route.
This time of the year was also a busy one for NZTA road improvement projects before winter. While work on most sites would stop during Easter, people still need to take care travelling through those sites. Key sites include:-
SH1: Warkworth township
SH16: Punganui stream bridge replacement near Helensville
SH1 Cape Reinga sealing
SH1: Old North Road near Hikurangi
SH10: Waitangi Bridge near Kerikeri
“Loose metal at those sites could damage vehicles, and people should observe the speed restrictions to reduce that risk,” Mr McDonald said.
The NZTA says the manual payment kiosks on the Northern Gateway Toll Road will be busy and people can avoid interrupting their journeys by purchasing tolls on-line at www.tollroad.govt.nz(external link) or by freephone on 0800 4020 20.
“With the school holidays starting this weekend as well, all roads in and out of Auckland will be busy and motorists should plan their journeys and drive with care so that they and their families enjoy a safe and relaxing break,” Mr McDonald said.