Are You Heading Away This Long Weekend? Here's What You Should Know About Our Roads

Publish Date
Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 12:54PM

The NZ Transport Agency has released a statement today advising people to consider avoiding travel during the times of heaviest congestion.

“Increased traffic volumes, tiredness and driving in unfamiliar environments can make driving over these long weekends not only more stressful but also more risky,” says the Transport Agency’s Journey Manager Lee Wright.

The NZTA has created THIS MAP which shows information from previous Labour Weekend journeys on the times where traffic is heaviest.

The NZ Transport Agency recommends these top tips for a safe Labour Weekend:

  • Take the time to check your vehicle is safe –tyres/ spare tyre, indicators, windshield wipers, lights.
  • Allow plenty of time – make your journey part of the holiday.
  • Rest stops are important for the driver and passengers.
  • If possible, share the driving.
  • Many drivers will be on unfamiliar roads, so please be patient as we are all in this situation at some stage.

Also, please note that if you are driving near these places, be aware there may be delays:

North of Christchurch

Many people will leave Christchurch and head north up SH1 on Friday afternoon. It is likely to be a slow journey from 4pm to 7 pm, Belfast to Amberley.

The 150 Years Rangiora A&P Show - Be prepared for heavy traffic in North Canterbury Friday night and Saturday morning.

Kaikoura/ Oaro – Hikoi near the highway

Drivers on State Highway 1 travelling between Christchurch and Kaikoura might spot a family Hikoi with support teams walking and driving north. Please take care around this small group of people, including children. They should be in Oaro on Saturday and Kaikoura on Sunday. Rest day is Monday for them.

South of Christchurch

Heading south, busiest times start earlier from 3pm-6pm on Friday afternoon. We encourage motorists to use the Christchurch Southern Motorway.

Electronic message boards and the Christchurch Transport Operations Centre (CTOC) will advertise any delays via social media and radio updates. Police and contractor crews are ready to help keep traffic flowing.

Mid Canterbury – delays possible

Drivers might experience short delays on State Highway 1 at the Ashburton South St and East St intersection where the new traffic signals are being installed for the supermarket. Both lanes will be open and all traffic management will be reduced to a minimum for the long weekend.

South Canterbury detours - Waimate most of the weekend

The longest state highway closure and detour (State Highway 82) is in South Canterbury’s Waimate for the annual Waimate 50 Motorsport Festival. The highway will be closed from 6 am Saturday to midday Monday, Labour Day. The detour will be well marked and managed.

State Highway 8 through Fairlie, South Canterbury, will be closed for a short period Saturday, 1.50 pm to 3 pm for the 150 Year Parade. A detour will be available.

Drivers on State Highway 1 at Winchester, South Canterbury, should also expect slight delays and a 50km/h speed limit on Saturday as people turn off the highway for the Winchester Showgrounds rodeo.

Greymouth

The Greymouth Motorcycle Street Races (external link)are on Sunday, 23 October, which may affect traffic on the state highway with the town’s streets sealed off for the races.

Read all the information about travelling this Labour Weekend at HERE.