The NZ Transport Agency says traffic on some Waikato state highways is set to increase by as much as 80 per cent this week as thousands of people head to the 2016 National Fieldays.
The Transport Agency’s Waikato state highways manager, Kaye Clark says the Fieldays is traditionally a busy time traffic-wise, with people flying or driving into the region from all over the country and overseas.
'We always experience a significant increase in traffic volumes on State Highway 1 (SH1) and State Highway 3 (SH3) during Fieldays week as people head into Mystery Creek off State Highway 21 Airport Road,' Mrs Clark says.
'Figures from last year show traffic on SH1 through Hamilton towards the Fieldays increased by around 25 per cent, SH1 past Cambridge increased by around 80 per cent, and on SH3 past Ohaupo we saw 40 per cent more traffic.
'We expect these figures to be replicated again this week, which is why it is important that people drive safe and plan ahead.'
High-tech Bluetooth ‘blip trackers', a dedicated hashtag and a webpage are among the Transport Agency initiatives designed to help people plan and share their Fieldays travels with real-time traffic information.
Social media users heading to Fieldays can share their travel experiences and get live travel information by using the hashtag #FieldaysTraffic.
'This hashtag will be monitored by our National Travel Information Service team who will be standing by to answer any queries and let people know about any incidents on the key routes to and from the Fieldays so they can try another road if need be,' Mrs Clark says.
A network of units which use Bluetooth technology have been placed at Fieldays and key central North Island towns such as Tauranga, Rotorua, Hamilton and Cambridge.
The devices use Bluetooth technology to record actual travel times for vehicles between the location of the trackers and Mystery Creek.
This information will be regularly updated at nzta.govt.nz/fieldays(external link)
On the Move
On The Move is a free service which enables people to sign up for information about crashes, road works and driving conditions on their frequently used routes. People can go to www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link), sign up and add their Fieldays route to get up to the minute information.
Free phone 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)
People can also get travel information by calling the Transport Agency’s free phone on 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49), which can also be used to report any significant road issues or hazards which people may come across during their travels.
Mrs Clark says drivers can also keep an eye out for travel information on electronic message boards around the Waikato, as far north as Auckland, and in other areas such as the Bay of Plenty.
'These message boards will help people to make informed decisions about what route to take and how long they might expect to spend on their journey,' she says.
'With all the extra vehicles on the road we advise people to take extra care and give driving the attention it deserves.'
A team of Transport Agency staff will be at the Fieldays again this year. If you have questions about agricultural vehicle compliance, car safety, licensing, cycling or the Waikato Expressway pop in and visit the team at site O17. Located right next to the blue ANZ arch, you can’t miss it.