Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 2:19pm |
National News

Holiday season traffic advice

2 min read

Transit New Zealand and New Zealand Police are urging motorists to be patient and travel with care during the Christmas holiday period.

As traffic is expected to be heavy north out of Wellington, Transit is closing northbound passing lanes on State Highway 1 at Lindale and Waikanae from approx 2 pm on Friday December 19 until 2 pm on Saturday December 20. The lanes will be closed again from midday on Wednesday December 24 until approx 2 pm on Saturday December 27, to help improve traffic flow.

Transit highway superintendent Reuben Pokiha says the closures allow up to 150 additional vehicles to pass through the area, each hour, at these busy times. The lane closures will be closely monitored to ensure they remain effective.

"Past experience shows that when there’s a high volume of traffic and people need to merge at the end of a passing lane, they tend to push for position which slows down the flow of traffic. Closing the passing lanes produces a steadier flow of single lane traffic along the highway which is critical during busy periods," says Mr Pokiha.

Inspector John Spence, Kapiti Mana Area Commander, says congestion is to be expected during peak holiday periods. "Be prepared for some delays and make sure you have some water and snack food with you, especially if you’re travelling with children.

"Rest breaks are also a good idea as they only increase travel time by the time period stopped, not by the number of vehicles that go past."

Transit also reminds motorists to be careful and allow for extra travelling time during the busy Christmas holiday season -- particularly if connecting with inter-island ferries.

Transit regional manager Brian Hasell says roadworks relating to major projects in the Wellington region such as the Plimmerton to Paremata Upgrade on SH1 and the Kaitoke to Te Marua re-alignment on SH2 will cease on December 19 and not resume again until January 5, although the bypass at Lindale will still be in place.

In Marlborough, traffic signals have been installed at the Awatere Bridge north of Seddon to help more effectively manage traffic flows across the single-lane bridge.