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Travelling Out Of Auckland Over The Holiday Period

Travelling Out Of Auckland Over The Holiday Period

Take alternative routes north to avoid congestion

Transit New Zealand, the New Zealand Police and Rodney District Council will be working closely to help make travelling easier and safer for the many thousands of people expected to head north these holidays. Motorists travelling north are being asked to consider alternative routes to avoid delays.

The main thrust of the inter agency strategy will be to minimise, as far as possible, congestion, excessive queuing and frustration as people travel out of and return to Auckland. The stretch of State Highway 1 between Silverdale and Warkworth is a particular hot spot and motorists travelling to destinations north of Wellsford are being asked to seriously consider using SH16, which can be accessed via the Northwestern Motorway from the city, and from State Highway 17 at Dairy Flat via Kahikatea Flat Road.

“Though SH16 is slightly longer than the more direct SH1 route, during peak travelling times motorists will find it quicker and will help lighten traffic volumes on SH1,” says Transit Regional Manager Wayne McDonald.

To help facilitate traffic flows on peak days, the following steps will be implemented over the Christmas-New Year period:

Northbound traffic flows on SH1A (Northern Motorway between Silverdale interchange and Orewa roundabout) will be closely monitored and before queues form, an electronic variable message sign three kilometres south of Silverdale will advise motorists to leave the motorway at the Silverdale interchange where they can either head north along State Highway 1through Orewa, or go via SH17 and Kahikatea Flat Rd along SH16.

To get to SH17 motorists will be guided with special signs.

Police on point duty will direct traffic through the roundabouts on Orewa’s Grand Drive and at the intersection of Westhoe Road and SH1.

Police will monitor the pedestrian crossing on SH1 at Wellsford and provide a pointsman for the SH16 intersection if necessary.

For those motorists travelling south of Auckland during the holidays, Transit and the Police will be monitoring queues on SH1 and SH2 closely to help minimise delays. If required an electronic Variable Message Sign will be positioned at the top of the Bombay Hills, before the SH1/SH2 intersection advising motorists of any problems and advising alternative routes.

Various steps may also be implemented on the weekend of Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 January as people return to Auckland:

A variable message sign north of Wellsford will be used to recommend that southbound traffic branch off SH1 at Wellsford and use SH16 to Auckland. (North Shore motorists can branch off SH16 at Kaukapakapa and head east across to SH17 at Dairy Flat and then onto SH1.). The alternative route will help motorists avoid dealing with returning traffic joining SH1 at Warkworth from Matakana and Sandspit;

On SH1, if queues form, passing lanes at Johnson’s Hill and Waiwera Hill may be closed to enable traffic to flow more uniformly in a single lane.

“Closing the passing lanes at peak congestion periods has been very effective, showing that traffic flows can be improved by as much as 10 per cent,” says Mr McDonald.

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