Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is asking motorists in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty to do their part to help keep everyone on the roads safe this Anzac weekend.
The Waka Kotahi holiday journey planner allows motorists to plan ahead and avoid delays, helping make their Anzac weekend journeys more enjoyable.
The tool shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and further afield based on travel patterns from previous years.
Waikato and Bay of Plenty director regional relationships David Speirs says with the country in Covid-19 lockdown previous Anzac weekend, and school holidays now in full swing, Waka Kotahi is predicting roads will be busy as holiday makers enjoy a chance to travel around New Zealand.
"In the Waikato, delays are predicted on SH2 between Pokeno and Maramarua, particularly heading east (toward the Coromandel Peninsula) on Friday afternoon. Westbound (toward Pokeno), some delays are expected between 11am and 3pm on Friday and 10.30am and 9.30pm on Monday."
Further delays are predicted on SH1, both north and south between Tirau and Karapiro throughout the weekend, particularly southbound on Friday evening, Saturday morning and Sunday around midday.
SH25 is expected to be busy at Tairua, with the heaviest traffic expected heading north on Friday afternoon and through the middle of the day on Saturday. Southbound, delays are predicted to be heaviest on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.
"In the Bay of Plenty, motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on SH29 over the Kaimai Ranges, particularly heading east (toward Tauranga) between 3.30pm and 6.30pm Friday. Westbound (toward the Waikato), traffic is expected to be heaviest across most of the day on Monday.
"SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi is expected to be busy heading east (toward Waihi) on Friday afternoon, and through the middle of the day on Saturday. Westbound (toward Paeroa) traffic should expect the worst delays between 10.30am and 4pm on Monday.
"Motorists should also expect delays on SH2 between Katikati and Tauranga for much of the weekend, in both directions, with traffic heaviest southbound (toward Tauranga) between 1.30pm and 7pm on Friday and northbound for a short period of time from 3pm on Friday."
There will also be several state highway closures for Anzac Parades on Sunday.
These include SH2 through Ngatea (11am–noon) and Paeroa (8am-10am) in the Waikato.
In Ngatea, road reconstruction works on SH2 between Pipiroa Rd and Paul Drive sees a one-way detour for all eastbound traffic up to April 30 (24 hrs/day), adding 15 minutes to eastbound journeys. Westbound traffic remains on SH2 and should expect delays. All Ngatea shops remain open for business throughout works.
In the Bay of Plenty, SH2 will be closed between Beach Rd and Fairview Rd from 5am to 7am for the Katikati Anzac Parade. A signposted detour will be in place for northbound and southbound traffic. The detour is not suitable for High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMVs).
Because predicted travel times can change based on traffic incidents, weather, driver behaviour or changes in Covid-19 alert levels, motorists are encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website – journeys.nzta.govt.nz - before they travel for real-time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures.
"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, there will be less frustration and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination," Mr Speirs says.
"Allow plenty of time. You're on holiday, there's no need to rush."