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Passing Lane Closures For Holiday Period

SH1 Christmas / New Year Passing Lane Closures For Holiday Period

Transit New Zealand and the New Zealand Police are urging motorists to take extra care and exercise patience when driving on State Highway 1 north of Wellington over the Christmas and New Year periods.

Transit New Zealand operations manager central Mark Owen says traffic is expected to be very heavy on the roads out of Wellington, particularly on the Friday and Monday preceding Christmas and also on Boxing Day.

To help improve traffic flow, the northbound passing lanes on State Highway 1 at Lindale and Waikanae will be closed today, Friday December 21 at midday and reopened late afternoon on Thursday 27 December, depending on traffic flows.

Due to expected heavy traffic flows with holiday motorists returning to Wellington in the New Year, the southbound passing lanes north of Otaki will also be closed to improve traffic. The closures are planned for Sunday January 6 2008 and Sunday January 13 from midday to approximately 9.00pm, depending on traffic volumes. On the weekend of Wellington Anniversary, the lanes will also be closed from midday on Sunday January 20 until 9.00pm on Monday January 21, again subject to traffic flows.

Mr Owen says Transit will also have staff monitoring the traffic build-up in and around Otaki on SH1, and may have staff on the road to direct traffic and minimise queues.

“Transit asks drivers to be patient and understanding of any staff on traffic control duties as it is being done for road safety and as a public service to reduce any potential delays.”

Mr Owen says the passing lane closures allow about 100-150 additional vehicles to pass through the area each hour during these busy times. These lane closures will be monitored to ensure they remain effective and efficient.

“Closing passing lanes helps increase capacity. It produces a steadier flow of single-lane traffic along the highway, which is critical during periods of heavy traffic,” he says.

New Zealand Police Kapiti Mana Area Commander Inspector John Spence says this closure has been used for several years now and is effective in maintaining flow and minimising accidents at the merge.

Inspector Spence and Mr Owen joined in urging motorists to take special care when travelling, especially at this time of year.

“We want everyone to enjoy their journeys and get to their destinations safely so please be patient and take extra care when driving over this holiday period,” Inspector Spence says.

ENDS

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