The NZ Transport Agency is urging motorists travelling to and from Tolaga Bay to stay safe and to prepare for their journeys, with a marked increase in traffic volume on the approaches to the bay over the past few days as people go to pay their respects for the passing of Labour MP Parekura Horomia.
Regional State Highway Manager Chuck Dowdell said that traffic was expecting to be steady up to the weekend and then concentrated as people return home.
To make sure people travel safely to and from Tolaga Bay and to help traffic flow NZTA has event signs in place and had advised travellers that the additional traffic on the roads means they should be extra careful heading into and out of the area.
“We have reviewed our programmed road works activities to ensure only essential works are conducted. We will also monitor those carefully – over all our intent is to keep traffic moving and avoid unnecessary delay.
“That said, we ask everyone to be patient as there will be a lot more traffic in the area than usually seen and we have been currently experiencing some wet-weather in Tolaga Bay. Be patient, slow-down and watch your following distances as the roads are likely to be slippery. Make sure you leave a bit of time up your sleeve to ensure you don't find yourself rushing if you get held up.” said Mr Dowdell.
NZTA welcomes any feedback on any issues motorists and any other members of the public see as they head in and out of the area.
“We will do our best to work with everyone to make this sad occasion as comfortable as we can,” said Mr Dowdell.
Mr Dowdell reminds people coming from outside the region to drive rested.
"Make sure you give yourself decent breaks when travelling home. It won’t be until you are well on your return journey before you start feeling tired and we want you all home safely."
He says local heavy transport industry are aware of the increase in traffic and have said that will be mindful of visitors to the area. Motorists are asked to keep an eye out for trucks sharing the highway when travelling in and out of the bay.
People can provide feedback to NZTA by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, via our website at wwww.nzta.govt.nz. The NZTA also encourages people to check the On the Move travel information service before heading out to check real-time travel information about the highway network - www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link)