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Gridlock Expected In Wellington Due To Protest

Traffic Gridlock Expected In Wellington Due To Heavy Truck Protest

New Zealand Police National News Release 11:18am 3 July 2008 http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release.html?id=4076


Wellington Police are strongly advising commuters and travellers to avoid the motorways and central business district between 7am and 10am tomorrow morning because of the expected traffic gridlock from the increased road user charge truck protest which is happening across the country.

More than 100 heavy trucks are expected to travel in convoy on both State Highways 1 and 2, leaving McKays Crossing (Paekakariki) and Seaview, near Petone, at 7am.

Inspector Simon Perry, Wellington City Area Emergency Response Manager, says the volume of trucks will cause huge delays on the highway and motorway systems, and gridlock the central city.

"This protest is happening in peak time and the convoys may merge as they approach the CBD," he says. "We expect motorists will need to factor an extra 90 minutes delay into their travel time. The CBD will be gridlocked and we're not expecting traffic flow to return to anything like normal until after 10am."

Police say the congestion and delays will impact on commuters, and people heading to the airport for early morning flights or the ferry terminals for early sailings.

The intended protest route is:

• 7am, leave McKays Crossing on State Highway 1 and Seaview, Petone, to travel south on State Highway 2• The convoys will merge on the urban motorway and travel south through The Terrace tunnel onto Vivian Street. Dangerous goods vehicles are not allowed through the tunnel and will exit at The Terrace off ramp to rejoin the convoy in Vivian Street.• Travel to Taranaki Street, then onto Jervois Quay• Turn into Whitmore Street and then up to Parliament where they will disperse.

More on page 2...

"The delays for the general public will be considerable," Inspector Perry says. "We will have extra patrols out to minimise disruption where possible, particularly around intersections. We're appealing for people to be patient and to avoid the area."

Police urge commuters and travellers to:

• be on the road well before 7am if you are catching early morning flights or ferries• use the trains and leave your car at home• factor long delays into your journey• parents/caregivers to be aware that travel on the last day of term for school kids could be delayed tomorrow morning• avoid the motorways and CBD if possible between 7am and 10am.

"Wet weather and the inevitable crashes will add to congestion and frustration," Inspector Perry says. "Please be patient. Police will have extra patrols out but the city will be gridlocked for a chunk of tomorrow morning.

"This protest is similar to many others we experience in the capital city. We expect the truck drivers to abide by the road rules, but the protest will bring inevitable delays on the roads."

ENDS

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