The days and locations of some of the Bay of Plenty's worst congestion snarl-ups have been revealed as the NZ Transport Agency warns motorists to take extra care.
The agency has this afternoon put out a statement encouraging motorists to plan ahead, be patient and allow plenty of time to ensure safe and enjoyable holiday journeys. It comes as the agency releases an interactive map predicting the traffic hot spots. Check it out here.
Acting director of regional relationships Ross I'Anson said motorists should prepare for the roads to be busier than normal.
"Bay of Plenty motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Ranges and on State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihī and Katikati and Tauranga.
"There will be roadside electronic signs displaying estimated journey times at key locations between Auckland and Tauranga to help motorists make informed decisions about their route and ease some of the congestion.
"Traffic between Katikati and Tauranga is expected to be at its heaviest on 2 January, due to the Bay Dreams event in Mount Maunganui."
The Transport Agency's Holiday Journeys map shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the peak summer holiday period, based on previous years travel patterns.
Motorists should consider travelling outside peak times, when traffic is lighter, I'Anson said.
"Allow plenty of time. Remember you're on holiday, so there is no need to rush.
"People driving in unfamiliar environments, increased traffic volumes, congestion and tiredness can pose a risk to anyone using the roads at this time of year."
I'Anson also encourages motorists to access up to date information about travel conditions before hitting the road.
"The transport agency's interactive Journey Planner website is a fantastic source for traffic cameras, journey times and real-time information on delays, roadworks and road closures – all valuable in helping you plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey these holidays."
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.