As people take to the roads across Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki to embark on their summer holidays, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is encouraging motorists to plan ahead, be patient and allow plenty of time to ensure safe and enjoyable holiday journeys.
Acting director regional relationships Ross I’Anson says motorists should prepare for the roads to be busier than normal.
"Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journeys, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, there will be less frustration and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination.
"Bay of Plenty motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Ranges and on State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi and Katikati and Tauranga.
"In the Waikato, delays are predicted on State Highway 2 at Maramarua, on State Highway 25 at Tairua, and on State Highway 1 at Taupiri, Karapiro and Tirau.
"There will be roadside electronic signs displaying estimated journey times at key locations between Auckland and Tauranga to help motorists make informed decisions about their route and ease some of the congestion.
"Traffic between Katikati and Tauranga is expected to be at its heaviest on January 2, 2020, due to the Bay Dreams event in Mount Maunganui."
Increased holiday traffic is also likely on State Highway 3 in Taranaki.
The Transport Agency’s Holiday Journeys map shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the peak summer holiday period, based on previous years’ travel patterns.
Motorists should consider travelling outside peak times, when traffic is lighter, says Ross.
"Allow plenty of time. Remember you’re on holiday, so there is no need to rush.
"People driving in unfamiliar environments, increased traffic volumes, congestion and tiredness can pose a risk to anyone using the roads at this time of year."
Ross also encourages motorists to access up to date information about travel conditions before hitting the road.
"The Transport Agency’s interactive Journey Planner website is a fantastic source for traffic cameras, journey times and real-time information on delays, roadworks and road closures - all valuable in helping you plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey these holidays."
Tips for safe driving on your summer 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.