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Plan a safe holiday journey this Christmas

18 December 2018

Use our interactive tools to plan a safe holiday journey this Christmas

The NZ Transport Agency urges motorists in Auckland and Northland to make their holiday journeys safer and smarter by preparing well, planning ahead and making the right choices.

The Transport Agency’s Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker says this is a special time of year and no holiday should be marred by a road crash that could have been avoided.

“Roads across Auckland and the Northland are likely to be busy over Christmas and New Year so congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times. But if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, the worst of the frustrations can be eased and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination.”

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable summer holiday with the help of our interactive holiday journeys map at The map shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays based on travel patterns from previous years.

“Data from previous years show SH1 heading north and south out of Auckland is likely to be busy throughout the middle of the day – from 10 or 11am through to 5pm - from Friday, 21 December to the end of the month. But with a weekend before Christmas Day we might see holidaymakers staggering their journeys a bit more, which could help ease congestion.”

“Consider leaving when traffic is lighter, either early in the morning or late at night, or look for an alternative route.”

Just before you hit the road, and while travelling, use the Transport Agency’s Journey Planner website. It’s a great tool to help plan your trip with real time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road

SH1 is the busy main route north from Auckland, but motorists should consider taking SH16 as an alternative route as far as Wellsford. At busy times, electronic signs on SH1 will display estimated travel times via SH1 and SH16 to give motorists a choice.

Traffic management crews will be out on busy days at the Kahikatea Road intersection with SH16 and at Kawakawa on SH1 to help keep traffic moving. There will be temporary traffic lights at Taipa Bridge on SH10 with one lane in operation over the holiday period.

To minimise delays, most road works are on hold over the holiday period and, barring emergency repairs, won’t resume again until the second week of January. Temporary speed limits will remain in some places.

In Auckland, the clip-on lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge will be closed from Boxing Day to allow annual maintenance and road surface repairs. Three lanes will be open across the bridge in each direction at all times.

On SH1 heading south, work on the Southern Corridor Improvements project between Takinini and Papakura will also continue with temporary speed limits in place.

Tips for safe driving on your summer holiday:

• Check your car is in good “health” before you head off. Check your tyre pressure and tread, windscreen wipers, indicators and lights.

• Take extra care when travelling in holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments.

• Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or amount of traffic.

• Avoid fatigue. Take regular breaks to stay alert.

• Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.

• Be patient – overtaking is unlikely to make a significant difference to your journey time due to the amount of traffic expected over the weekend.

• Allow plenty of time. Remember you are on holiday, so there’s no need to rush.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey this summer. Keep up to date with:
• Traffic updates:
• Facebook:
• Twitter:
• Journey planner:
• Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)
• Electric Vehicle charge stations:


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