Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


State highway work stops to give drivers Xmas priority

16 December 2013

State highway work stops to give drivers Xmas priority

Maintenance work on state highways in Northland and Auckland will stop for a Christmas break this week as part of a NZ Transport Agency initiative to help ease congestion and keep traffic flowing for holiday travellers.

The holiday shutdown will start in Northland on Wednesday (18 December) and in Aucklandon Friday (20 December). Work resumes in both regions from Monday, 6 January.

The Transport Agency’s Highways Manager, Tommy Parker, says maintenance is essential to keep state highways in a safe and good condition, but it may involve lane closures and diversions.

“Unless there’s an emergency, we’ll be holding back on our work for a couple of weeks to give people on holiday Christmas priority. Highways in both regions will be busy and everything will be done to help make sure people have a smooth and safe journey.”

With schools starting to close for summer, holiday traffic is already starting to build on highways between Auckland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Auckland and Northland.

One of the busiest highways will be the Northern Gateway Toll Road on SH1 north of Auckland.
Last Christmas holiday there was an average of 19,900 trips a day – the busiest day was 2 January when there were 23,500 trips. The yearly average for the toll road is 15,000 trips per day.

“The tremendous increase in holiday traffic on the toll road indicates just how busy highways will be in Auckland and Northland, and the need for drivers to plan their trips and to allow plenty of time for a safe journey. The risk of a crash increases at this time of year because there is more traffic and more congestion.”

Mr Parker says the Transport Agency is supporting the Police/ACC summer campaign against excess speed to help keep people safe. Drivers will be penalised if caught exceeding legal speed limits by more than 4kph.

During the past 5 official Christmas/New year holiday periods, there have been 7 fatalities on Auckland highways and roads and 36 people have been seriously injured. In Northland, there have been 3 fatalities, and 30 people have been seriously injured.

“Speed – together with alcohol – are prominent factors in many of those crashes. They are both avoidable killers.”

Mr Parker says there were actions drivers could also take to help keep them and their families safe.

• Use the Transport Agency’s TWIRL checklist for their vehicles – tyres, windscreen (wipers and mirrors), indicators, rust, lights
• Ensure everyone wears a seatbelt
• Stow everything in a vehicle securely
• Plan journeys: avoid peak times, allow plenty of time, stop for breaks
• Be courteous, be patient and give others plenty of space

The Transport Agency reminds people planning to use the toll road that the manual payment kiosks accept only coins now.

The kiosks expect to process up to 1200 transactions daily and queues are likely. People can avoid delays be going on-line at www.tollroad.govt.nz or using the Transport Agency contact centre freephone 0800 40 20 20 to pay for individual trips or open accounts before they travel.

The contact centre will be open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, but will be closed on Christmas Day and during weekends.

There are two free alternative routes to the toll roads: the Hibiscus Coast Highway between the Silverdale interchange on State Highway 1 and Puhoi, or SH16 between the Silverdale interchange and Wellsford.

The Transport Agency reminds drivers of safety changes to the SH1/Wayby Valley Road intersection south of Wellsford. A temporary northbound right-turn bay on SH1 with improved vision of on-coming traffic is operating as part of an upgrade of the intersection.

“Drivers should always expect the unexpected, especially on our regions’ rural highways and roads,” Mr Parker says “They will be busier with a lot more people – cars, trucks, people towing caravans and boats, motorcyclists and cyclists. The Transport Agency’s wish is for people and families to celebrate the holiday season as safely as they can.”

The following will help people plan safer holidays:-
• TWIRL vehicle checklist: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/checkyourcar
• Holiday travel: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/around-nz/holidays.html
Northern Gateway Toll Road: www.tollroad.govt.nz freephone 0800 40 20 20
Route planner: www.onthemove.govt.nz
Highway information: www.highwayinfo.govt.nz
Northland highway conditions: freephone 0800 111 655

Find the latest transport news, information, and advice on our website: www.nzta.govt.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news