Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises residents and visitors to plan their journey and take advantage of free buses during the annual Zespri AIMS Games starting Saturday 3 September.
It’s expected that Tauranga will see an influx of over 20,000 visitors over the week, which means the city will be busier than usual and everyone should expect some delays.
Tauranga is the fastest growing city in Aotearoa and there are a range of roading projects currently underway to improve the city’s infrastructure. People are advised to allow sufficient time to their trip, as roadworks are taking place across the city.
“As Tauranga will be welcoming 11,000 young athletes and their supporters for the first AIMS Games since 2019, residents and visitors should expect some delays,” says Roger Brady, Bay of Plenty System Manager at Waka Kotahi.
“We encourage drivers to use our Journey Planner and check the real-time updates online which provide information on delays, road works and road closures on their way to and from the Games, between venues and around town.
“If drivers, especially those who may not have visited Tauranga in a while, know what is happening on the roads, they can better prepare for the trip ahead and allow extra time to get to their destination safely.
“Please allow extra time while travelling as there will be an increase in traffic during the day, particularly before and after school hours on roads leading to the sport facilities and reserves throughout the city,” says Mr Brady.
Tauranga City Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council are providing free bus travel to help athletes and supporters get around and encourage uptake in more sustainable transport. A park and ride bus service for all athletes and supporters will be provided between Gordon Spratt Reserve, Trustpower Baypark, Baywave Aquatic Centre, Blake Park and Mount Hot Pools. To find out more about the service visit www.nzaimsgames.co.nz/buses(external link).
“We would also like to remind visitors to the city that the road layout at the Bay Link project on State Highway 2 and 29A in Mount Maunganui has significantly changed since the last Games in 2019. The most recent changes include the partial opening of the new SH2/29A Te Maunga interchange as well as lane changes at the Bayfair roundabout. These will be in place throughout the games.
“AIMS Games competitors and supporters are reminded to use the designated footpaths and crossings through the construction site. Drivers are reminded to please slow down, keep a safe following distance, and stay focused,” says Mr Brady.
Zespri AIMS Games are being held from Saturday 3 to Friday 9 September.