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Travelling to Northland - Take alternative routes!


Auckland Regional Office
23 January 2003

MEDIA RELEASE

Travelling to Northland this long weekend? - Take alternative routes!

Motorists travelling to and from Whangarei, Dargaville and Northland this Auckland Anniversary weekend should use alternative routes to avoid excessive queuing, delays and frustration.

“The choice is simple – use State Highway 16, or get stuck in traffic on State Highway 1,” says Transit New Zealand Regional Manager Wayne McDonald.

“The section between Silverdale and Warkworth is particularly difficult as many people will be heading for Matakana, Omaha and other points east.”

Mr McDonald says that SH16 can be accessed by travelling to the end of the Northwestern Motorway and then through Kumeu and Helensville to Wellsford. Alternatively, it can be accessed from SH1 via the Silverdale off-ramp then SH17 and Kahikatea Flat Road.

“It’s a slightly longer route but during peak times especially, motorists will find it quicker and more pleasant,” says Mr McDonald.

Transit, the New Zealand Police and Rodney District Council will be working closely to help make travelling easier and safer for the thousands of people expected to head north for the weekend.

To help facilitate traffic flows, a number of steps will be implemented over the weekend, particularly during peak travelling periods, which are: between 3pm and 7pm on Friday 24 January, 9am to 2pm on Saturday 25 January, and between 1pm and 7pm on Monday 27 January.

- Northbound traffic flows on SH1A (Northern Motorway between Silverdale interchange and Orewa roundabout) will be 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 SH1 through Orewa, or use SH17 and Kahikatea Flat Rd to access SH16 at Kaukapakapa. To get to SH17 motorists will be guided with special signs.

- If required, Police on point duty will direct traffic through the roundabouts on Orewa’s Centreway Road, and at the intersection of Westhoe Road and SH1.

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

- On Sunday 26 January and Monday 27 January a variable message sign north of Wellsford will recommend that southbound traffic branch off SH1 at Wellsford and use SH16 to return to Auckland. Motorists can then either continue on SH16 to West Auckland and the Northwestern Motorway, or branch off at Kaukapakapa and follow Kahikatea Flat Road and SH17 to rejoin SH1 at Silverdale. Using SH16 will mean motorists will avoid dealing with returning traffic joining SH1 at Warkworth from Matakana, Sandspit and other points to the east.

- On Sunday and Monday, southbound passing lanes on SH1 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 significantly,” says Mr McDonald.

Transit has also set up a free 0800 number for those wanting more information about the alternative route north - 0800 737 325.

ends

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