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Christmas weekend traffic advice

Transit Wellington Regional Office Media Release

15 December 2004

Christmas weekend traffic advice

Transit New Zealand and New Zealand Police advise motorists to travel with care during Christmas weekend and, if possible, to stagger departure times.

Traffic is expected to be heavy on the coast road north out of Wellington on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

To help improve traffic flow, Transit is closing northbound passing lanes on State Highway 1 at Lindale and Waikanae from midday Friday 24 December to approx 4.00pm Sunday 26 December 2004.

“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,” said Transit’s Wellington highway superintendent Reuben Pokiha.

“Closing the passing lanes helps increase capacity. It produces a steadier flow of single lane traffic along the highway, which is critical at long weekends.”

Mr Pokiha said the closures would allow 100-150 additional vehicles to pass through the area each hour. Transit’s contractor, Fulton Hogan will closely monitor the lane closures, to ensure they remain effective.

“The timing of the removal of the closure on Boxing Day may vary if traffic volumes are still high as in the past we’ve found that Boxing Day is a also a particularly busy day for traffic,” said Mr Pokiha.

Transit urges motorists to drive carefully at this time of year and Inspector John Spence, Police’s Kapiti-Mana area controller, advises motorists to be patient and take extra care.

“We want everyone to enjoy their journeys and get to their destinations safely – they can do this by allowing a little extra time for their journey and making sure they take a break if they are feeling tired.”

Transit regional manager Brian Hasell said roadworks relating to maintenance activities and major projects in the Wellington region such as SH1 Plimmerton to Paremata upgrade, Lindale intersection improvements, Mackays Crossing overbridge project, and SH2 Kaitoke to Te Marua re-alignment will cease by the end of 23 December and not resume again until 6 January 2005.

“However, temporary speed restrictions and traffic management will be in place on the major project sites over the break and we ask that people take care when driving through these areas,” said Mr Hasell.

ENDS

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