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Plan ahead and avoid queues this Easter

Plan ahead and avoid queues this Easter

The NZ Transport Agency is encouraging drivers heading north from Auckland this Easter weekend to plan ahead and avoid delays.

“The region’s roads are likely to be very busy this weekend, and we know from experience that long delays can be expected on SH1 at Warkworth in particular as people head out of the city. We want people to avoid the queues if they can,” said Wayne McDonald, the NZTA’s Regional Director for Auckland/Northland.

Mr McDonald urged people travelling north to consider using SH16 to avoid congestion elsewhere on the network, including the Northern Gateway Toll Road. SH16 links western and northern Auckland with Wellsford, and can also be reached from the Silverdale interchange on SH1.

“It’s a less busy alternative route and, importantly, it by-passes traditionally congested areas on SH1,” Mr McDonald said.

Easter this year also coincides with the start of school holidays, and roads throughout the Auckland region will be very busy. Traffic counts from the past two Easter weekends have shown a 50 percent increase in the number of vehicles using SH1 between Puhoi and Warkworth compared with mid-week traffic volumes. Northbound traffic this year is likely to start building up from Thursday afternoon.

NZTA will actively manage all state highways to help people avoid delays wherever possible. A new camera has been installed on SH1 in Warkworth to continually monitor traffic flows and adjust traffic light phases. On-road electronic signs will also advise motorists of the best route to avoid congestion.

The Northern Gateway Toll Road on SH1 is also expected to be busy. NZTA is encouraging drivers to avoid unnecessary delays by paying their tolls electronically and purchasing return trips, rather than interrupting their journeys to use busy manual payment kiosks.

A third kiosk is being installed at the southern end of the motorway to assist with the increased demand. Ambassadors will also be available at the kiosk to provide assistance.

There are several payment options which don’t require drivers to stop and pay manually. These include pre-paying for journeys on-line at www.tollroad.govt.nz or by freephone on 0800 40 20 20. The contact centre will be open every day over the long weekend from 8am to 6pm. Drivers don’t need an account to pay on-line or by freephone, and trips can also be paid up to three days after using the road at no extra cost.

Mr McDonald urged all drivers to plan ahead to make their journeys in and out of the city this weekend less stressful.

“Whether it’s deciding to take the alternative SH16 route, driving during at an off-peak time, or paying tolls electronically, these small measures can help you beat the queues and have a better journey,” he said.

ENDS

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