Motorists warned to prepare for heavy traffic
Waka Kotahi Transport Agency is predicting roads will be busy over the 2021 Easter break.
With Easter travel cancelled due to the nationwide Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown last year, holiday makers are expected to make the most of the chance to travel this weekend.
Bay of Plenty motorists are being asked to help make their Easter journeys safer and more enjoyable by using the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency holiday journey planner to plan ahead and avoid delays.
The tool shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes in the Bay of Plenty and further afield, during the Easter period, based on travel patterns from previous years.
"Please be patient when driving this Easter so everyone can relax and enjoy their holiday," says Bay of Plenty System Manager Rob Campbell.
"In the Bay of Plenty, motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Ranges, particularly heading east (toward Tauranga) on Thursday between midday and 6pm, Friday between 10.45am and 3.45pm, and for shorter period on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Westbound (toward the Waikato), delays will be heaviest on Thursday and Sunday afternoons, and most of the day on Monday.
"SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi is expected to be busy heading east (toward Waihi) on Thursday afternoon, Friday between 10.30am and 4.15pm, from 10.30am until 3pm on Saturday and through the middle of the day on Sunday. Westbound (toward Paeroa), the busiest times are expected to be between 10.15am and 3.45pm on Sunday, then again on Monday morning.
"Motorists should also expect delays on SH2 between Katikati and Tauranga for much of the weekend, in both directions."
Because predicted travel times can change based on traffic incidents, weather, driver behaviour or changes in Covid-19 alert levels, motorists are encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website – journeys.nzta.govt.nz - before they travel for real-time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures.
"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," says Rob.
"Allow plenty of time. You’re on holiday, there’s no need to rush."
Rob says there are simple things we can all do to help keep everyone on the roads safe.
"Check your vehicle is safe to drive. Check your tyres, wipers, lights and indicators, and ensure you have a valid Warrant of Fitness before you leave.
"Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads.
"Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely, and take regular breaks to stay alert."
Rob also encourages people to keep track of where they’re going with the NZ Covid Tracer app and to check the Covid-19 website for information on alert levels and travel before you head off on holiday: https://covid19.govt.nz
"We’re asking everyone to do their part to help ensure a safe Easter weekend, both on and off the road."
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