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Plan ahead to avoid the queues on Auckland Anniversary Weekend

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Motorists are urged to plan ahead to avoid the traditional busy travel times this Auckland Anniversary weekend.

The NZ Transport Agency says drivers leaving Auckland during Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and those heading back to Auckland on Sunday or Monday are likely to be delayed by heavy traffic volumes.

To help drivers plan ahead to avoid the queues the Transport Agency has crunched the data from previous Auckland Anniversary weekends to give an insight into expected travel patterns. Check out our interactive holiday journeys map at www.nzta.govt.nz/holidayjourneys

“We know that traffic heading north from Auckland will start building from about 11 o’clock on Friday morning, with the busiest times between 2pm and 8pm. It’s also busy Saturday between 10am and 3pm,” says the Transport Agency’s Auckland Operations Manager, Rua Pani.

SH1 is the busy main route north from Auckland, but motorists should consider taking SH16 as an alternative route as far as Wellsford. At busy times, electronic signs on SH1 will display estimated travel times via SH1 and SH16 to give motorists a choice. 

Heading back to Auckland on Monday the busiest travel times are from about 11am through until 3:30pm.

For motorists heading south or to the Coromandel, the Southern Motorway (SH1) is busiest on Friday between 11am and 7:30pm, and on Saturday morning between 8:30am and 1pm. Returning on Monday, the motorway is busiest from Midday through to 6pm.

“If you can plan your travel outside of these times you’ll be giving yourself a much less stressful weekend and help ease congestion levels for everyone else.”

Just before you hit the road, and while travelling, use the Transport Agency’s Journey Planner website: www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link). It’s a great tool to help plan your trip with real time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures. 

The Transport Agency urges everyone to put safety first to prevent needless tragedies on the road.

“Stay sober and alert, watch your speed, make sure everyone is buckled up and drive to the conditions to do your bit towards making our roads safer for everyone.”

Tips for safe driving on your anniversary weekend holiday:

  • Check your car is in good “health” before you head off. Check your tyre pressure and tread, windscreen wipers, indicators and lights.
  • Take extra care when travelling in holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments.
  • Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or amount of traffic.
  • Avoid fatigue. Take regular breaks to stay alert.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.
  • Be patient – overtaking is unlikely to make a significant difference to your journey time due to the amount of traffic expected over the weekend.
  • Allow plenty of time. Remember you are on holiday, so there’s no need to rush.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:

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