Ahead of the Wellington Anniversary long weekend, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has updated its online holiday journeys traffic prediction tool to help people plan ahead and avoid delays.
The tool shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the long weekend, based on previous year’s travel patterns.
“Many people will be making the most of the public holiday and heading out of the region for a long weekend, so we’re expecting it to be busy on the roads throughout the lower North Island from Friday through to Monday,” Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says.
“Traffic will be particularly heavy on State Highway 1 heading north out of Wellington on Friday, with the busiest period expected between 11am and 6pm. It is also expected to be busiest on Saturday between 9am and 1pm, and on Sunday between 10am and 1pm.
“Southbound traffic on State Highway 1 is also expected to be heavier than usual as people make their way into Wellington, either coming to visit from further north or returning home after being away.
“Monday is expected to be the busiest day for those heading south into Wellington on State Highway 1, particularly between 11am and 5pm. Friday will also be busy between 3pm and 6pm, as well as Saturday and Sunday which are expected to be busiest between 1pm and 5pm.
“State Highway 2 over the Remutaka Hill will also be busier than usual, with traffic expected to be busiest heading north on Friday afternoon, most of Saturday, and mid-morning on Sunday and Monday.
“Southbound traffic on State Highway 2 over the hill will be busiest in the afternoon on Saturday, Sunday and particularly Monday,” Mr Owen says.
People travelling further north through Manawatū, Whanganui and beyond can also expect traffic to be heavy, particularly on State Highway 2 between Hastings and Woodville, State Highway 3 through Whanganui and State Highway 1 between Taihape and Waiōuru.
“Congestion and delays are inevitable at peak times, so people may like to consider avoiding travel during these periods to make their journey safer and more enjoyable,” Mr Owen says.
“We’re encouraging people to use our holiday journeys tool to help plan their trip. The tool shows predicted travel flow for popular routes over the long weekend so people can use it to decide whether to take an alternative route or hit the road when traffic flows are lighter.
“Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather or even driver behaviour, motorists should also check our journey planner just before they head off, which provides traffic information and updates on delays, road works and road closures in real time.”
Mr Owen also urged drivers to play their part to stay safe on the roads these holidays.
“We know that congestion and delays can be frustrating, but the most important thing is that everyone gets to their destination safely. Please plan ahead, be patient and drive to the conditions.
“Trying to ‘make up lost time’ by speeding and unsafe overtaking puts everyone on the road at risk. Even when it isn’t the direct cause of a crash, speed is often the difference between someone walking away unharmed or being seriously injured or killed. For everyone’s safety, please slow down.”
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