Heading away this ANZAC weekend? It might pay to consider taking a new route or leaving a little earlier/later than usual.
“Anzac Day is creating another three day break for many people and it’s likely to be the last long weekend before the real winter weather sets in,” says Brett Gliddon the Agency’s Auckland and Northland highway manager.
“Because it also coincides with the school holidays we’re expecting traffic volumes will be heavy on the traditional holiday weekend routes including State Highway 1 heading into and out of Auckland as well as State Highways 1 and 2 near Coromandel and in Northern Waikato.”
“We’d encourage drivers to consider travel times and routes they may not have tried before, to help spread the demand and ease delays for everybody.”
“State Highway 16 between Wellsford and Auckland is usually far less busy than State Highway 1 through Warkworth. During the peak traffic period on Good Friday this year SH16 was consistently 40 minutes faster than travelling on SH1, which makes it an efficient and pleasant alternative.”
The Transport Agency has produced maps showing the days and times when the highway network is predicted to be at its busiest. These are based on previous years’ travel patterns and are subject to change based on incident and weather. They are available on its website.
Heading north out of Auckland traffic will be heaviest on SH1 between Puhoi and Wellsford from lunchtime through to 7pm on Friday, and again from 9am until midday on Saturday. And heading back to Auckland it will be heavy on Monday throughout the middle of the day.
State Highway 1 will also be busy north and south of Whangarei on Friday, with the heaviest peaks northbound from mid-afternoon and southbound from early on Friday morning.
State Highway 2 at Maramarua east of the interchange with SH1 is another busy point. Saturday morning and Monday throughout the middle of the day are the times to avoid if you possibly can.
Some roads and state highways will also be affected by Dawn Services and Parades on Monday morning and motorists are encouraged to allow plenty of time to get to services.There will be parades in Helensville, Wellsford and Kaikohe that will be on the State Highway which may affect travel through the area.
The Transport Agency’s safety director Ernst Zöllner says it’s likely to be one of the busiest Anzac Weekends on the roads and that means drivers need to take extra care.
“With more vehicles on the roads the risk of crashes is greater, so it’s important motorists put safety first to reduce the chances of making a mistake that could cost a life or cause serious injury.”
“By keeping speeds down, driving to the conditions, and staying alert motorists can minimise the effects of fatigue and any frustrations from being in queues.”
“Planning your journey and being a considerate driver will help everyone get to their destination safely to enjoy the long weekend. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking regular breaks or sharing the driving where possible,” says Mr Zöllner.