Triple traffic woes as school holiday, Anzac Day and travel bubble visitors combine

Traffic is already building around motorways heading out of Auckland and Wellington as people head away early to avoid after-work congestion at the start of the long weekend.

Holidaymakers heading away this weekend had earlier been warned roads will be extra busy as Anzac Weekend falls during the school holidays.

There is congestion around Manukau City and heading south to at least Drury, and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency urged drivers to be patient and watch following distances.

A crash in the southbound lane by Takanini at 12.20pm had already added to building traffic.

The crash had blocked the middle lane and delays were expected until it had been fully cleared.

Traffic was also heavier heading north around the usual bottlenecks of Warkworth and Wellsford.

In Wellington, traffic around the city was heavy with congestion building along SH1.

Rua Pani from Waka Kotaki said there would be even more holidaymakers on the road with the travel bubble open with Australia.

“Some congestion and delays are inevitable during holiday periods, but with school holidays in full swing this year, including people visiting Aotearoa from across the ditch, we want to remind everyone to leave plenty of time for their journey, Pani said.

Drivers were urged to “drive to the conditions and plan ahead before leaving home”.

All road works apart from weather-related and emergency work would be put on hold until Tuesday to minimise delays.

Pani said there was plenty for drivers to be aware of, with temporary speed limits around road works remaining in place around sites on SH1 between Auckland and Whangārei, including through the Dome Valley, on Matakana Link Rd and at Loop Rd.

Planning your journey and driving during off-peak times was also advised.

Auckland traffic was expected to be heaviest on State Highway 1 between Puhoi and Wellsford until 8pm today and between 8.30am and 3pm on Saturday.

The busiest time for those heading south from Auckland through Manukau on SH1, were between 10am and 3pm today and between 9am and 2pm on Saturday.

Returning on Monday, expect the motorway to be busiest from 11am to 8pm.

Tips for safe driving this long weekend

* Check your car is in good ‘health’ before your head off. Check your tyre pressure and tread, windscreen wipers, indicators and lights
* Take extra care when travelling during holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments.
* Drive to the conditions, even if that means driving slower than the posted speed limit.
* 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.

Motorists were urged to visit Journey Planner just before heading off for real-time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures.

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