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Travel prep encouraged for Waitangi Day holiday

Part of Cameron Road in Tauranga will be closed tonight. Photo: Bruce Barnad/SunLive.

Bay of Plenty motorists keen to make the most of the Waitangi Day holiday are being encouraged to plan ahead, travel outside peak times and be prepared for the roads to be busier than normal.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has an interactive holiday journeys map for the long weekend, which shows predicted traffic flow across popular routes based on previous years’ travel patterns over Waitangi Day weekend.

Director Regional Relationships Ross I’Anson says many people will look to make the most of Waitangi Day falling on a Thursday by taking leave on Friday and heading to popular holiday spots for a long weekend.

“In the Bay of Plenty, motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Ranges, on State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi, and again between Katikati and Tauranga.

“Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and even driver behaviour we suggest that you check our Journey Planner before you leave for accurate information about current road and traffic conditions.”

Ross says increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments are all good reasons to take extra care on the roads this holiday weekend.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, 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.

“Remember, you’re on holiday. There’s no need to rush.”

There is also a planned closure of part of Cameron Road in Tauranga tonight.

Around 8000 concert goers are expected to attend Cold Chisel at Wharepai Domain.

To support the safety of concert attendees going to and from the concert, event organisers will be closing part of Cameron Road (from Hamilton Street to Monmouth Street) and Hamilton Street West from Cameron Road, from 4pm to midnight.

As part of this closure, there will be no vehicle access to Cameron Road from Chapel Street or Brown Street, during the same period, says a statement from Tauranga City Council.

"It's recommended that people who are working in town or travelling through the city centre on Wednesday plan an alternate journey. Detours will be in place.”

Tips for safe driving this long weekend:

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 this summer. Keep up to date with:

Traffic updates: nzta.govt.nz/traffic

Facebook: facebook.com/NZTAWaikatoBoP

Twitter: twitter.com/NZTAwaibop

Journey planner: journeys.nzta.govt.nz

Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)

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