With traffic expected to be heavy over Christmas and New Year, the NZTA is advising motorists to plan ahead to avoid expected delays.
During peak travel times, NZTA will be closing the SH1 northbound passing lanes south of Waikanae and Te Horo north and the southbound passing lane north of Otaki.
The closure of the northbound passing lanes will take effect from 10.00am Friday, 24 December and will be reopened on Monday 27 at approximately 4.00pm or a time appropriate to traffic flows.
On Tuesday January 4 NZTA will close the SH1 southbound passing lane, north of Otaki, just prior to midday which will be reopened at about 10.00pm depending on traffic flows.
Wellington Operations Manager Mark Owen says the closure of the passing lanes, which are supported by the Police, is done for safety purposes and to improve traffic flows.
“During peak travel periods such as the Christmas break, closing passing lanes helps traffic flow more smoothly and improves safety for motorists.
“The lanes will be appropriately signposted and fenced off with traffic cones, but we’re reminding people to obey the normal road rules by keeping left.
“If traffic remains heavy, passing lanes will remain closed longer until we are satisfied it is practical to reopen them.”
Mr Owen says NZTA will be working with NZ Police to monitor congestion through Otaki and, if required, will instigate temporary traffic management measures to improve traffic flow.”
The NZTA will stop all road works on the state highway network over the Christmas period from midday Wednesday December 22 until Monday January 10. This excludes any work needed to be done for emergency purposes and routine maintenance activities.
Meanwhile, Mr Owen said people should plan their journeys well in advance, drive with patience and avoid taking chances when turning or overtaking. “Driving with courtesy can keep traffic flowing smoothly and helps ensure the roads remain safe. We also encourage drivers to take breaks to avoid driver fatigue.”
For some simple advice and safe driving tips to help you have safer journeys over the Christmas break, visit the NZTA’s holiday driving page at http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/info/around-nz/holidays.html(external link).