Motorists may hit some heavy traffic both north and south of Auckland today from 10am as holiday makers escape the city for New Year.
An earlier crash blocked the northbound lane of Auckland’s Southern Motorway just before Bombay causing some delays for a while.
The lane, however, is now open and traffic is moving normally, the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) said in a tweet.
For the holiday season, NTZA produced a handy travel planner informing motorists when to avoid the motorways for maximum happiness.
Based on previous years’ holiday traffic, NZTA is predicting those driving north on SH1 between Puhoi and Wellsford can expect traffic to be its heaviest between about 10am and 6pm.
Southbound traffic from Auckland, meanwhile, will experience a much easier run.
Traffic is expected to only be at its heaviest between 9.45am and 10.30am today, NZTA’s data shows.
Those travelling east on SH2 towards the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty can anticipate traffic at its worst from 9.30am to midday.
Motorists on SH1 north of Whangarei can also expect their worst day for traffic of the holiday period as people drive north to holiday spots in the Bay of Islands.
From 10am to 5.30pm today traffic is expected to be at its heaviest for the holiday period northbound from Northland’s biggest city.
Weather, crashes and other unforeseen events could impact predicted travel times. To find the most up-to-date information on your travel route, check the NZTA’s Journey Planner.
NZTA’s top tips for safe holiday driving
• 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.