NZTA is advising drivers to start planning their Labour Weekend travel so they can avoid the inevitable snarl-ups, particularly north of Auckland.
Drivers wanting to avoid congestion on SH1 can take SH16 between Wellsford and either the Silverdale interchange on SH1, or via the Northwestern Motorway. Be aware that there are significant roadworks on the Northwestern Motorway at Lincoln Road where they are widening the motorway, and at Waterview where the new connection to the Western Ring Route is being prepared. While there won’t be any roadworks being done on any of the state highways over the Labour Weekend break, there may still be temporary speed limits in place.
If you are heading to Coromandel, prepare for a slow journey up the Thames coast (SH25) from Thames to Coromandel as there are few passing opportunities. Remember that there is a 90kph speed limit from the exit of the Southern Motorway at SH2 until you turn off towards Coromandel on SH25.
Now’s also a good time to check your vehicle, such as tyre pressures, oil and water. If you will be towing a trailer, check the connections and tyre pressures.
The peak traffic period will be Friday afternoon as early holidaymakers mingle with rush hour commuters, and Monday afternoon as people return home. Courteous driving will help us all have a safer and more enjoyable journey: let others past if you are driving slowly or towing a large boat. Try to travel earlier or later if possible.
People planning to use the toll road north of Auckland are advised to buy trips now either using freephone 0800 40 20 20 (a $3.70 administrative charge applies for each phone transaction) or online at www.tollroad.govt.nz (no transaction charge applies). The manual kiosks at the start of toll road now only accept coin payments.
“Buying now allows people to get the best use of the toll road and avoid the need to stop and wait in a possible queue at the kiosks,” says Transport Agency Regional Director, Stephen Town.
The Transport Agency’ call centre for toll payments will be closed Saturday and Sunday, but will be open Labour Monday between 8am and 8pm.
“Always expect the unexpected – particularly on our many rural roads and state highways. It will be a busy space and people will be sharing the road with many others – pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, trucks, campervans and vehicles towing boats and caravans.
Current highway conditions are available online: www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic. Check it before you leave, and if you have a passenger with a smartphone and data plan, they can get updates as you drive.