Waka Kotahi NZTA expects high volumes of traffic across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty this Labour Day long weekend after people were only being able to travel inter-regionally during Covid-19 restrictions.
NZTA director regional relationships Steve Mutton says: "Travel may be more spread out across the country this year with holiday makers taking the opportunity to have a longer break either side of Labour Day weekend and exploring different regions to normal.
"In the Waikato, delays are predicted on State Highway 2 Maramarua. Further delays are predicted on SH1 south of Cambridge at Karapiro and on SH25 at the Kopu Bridge and at Tairua.
"In the Bay of Plenty, motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on SH29 over the Kaimai Ranges, on SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi and again between Katikati and Tauranga."
Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable Labour Day weekend with the help of the Waka Kotahi holiday
The map shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the Labour Day weekend based on previous years' travel patterns.
Mr Mutton says motorists should take extra care when travelling in holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments.
"Consider travelling outside peak times to make your trip safer and more enjoyable. Allow plenty of time and take regular breaks."
Because predicted peak times can change based on crashes or breakdowns, weather and even driver behaviour, check the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner
for real-time travel information, traffic cameras and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures before you head off.
"While most road work stops before busy holiday travel periods like Labour weekend, motorists in the Bay of Plenty should allow extra time if travelling through the Te Maunga intersection of SH2 and SH29A, where there have been recent delays following the change from a roundabout to a signalised intersection to enable construction on the Bay Link project.
"Similarly, motorists should consider allowing more time if travelling through the SH30/Tarawera Rd roundabout in Rotorua, which has undergone recent changes as part of works to upgrade the intersection."
Mr Mutton says travellers between Waikato and Taranaki are also advised to allow additional time because of significant work on SH3, including the Awakino Tunnel Bypass project.
"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.
"Remember you're on holiday, so there is no need to rush."
NZTA's Central Waikato summer maintenance programme began near Tirau last week.
Resurfacing began on SH1 north of Tirau October 20 and road maintenance crews will work southward towards the central North Island over the coming months.
The full programme of resealing is scheduled to be completed in February, with about 70km of resealing being completed across more than 75 sites.
Motorists are reminded to reduce speed, and follow directions of traffic management staff and signs to help keep themselves, other road users and road workers safe.