Don’t get cross; have a safe Easter

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Traffic on Ashburton State Highway 1 bridge.
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South Island travellers are encouraged to make their Easter weekend and school holiday journeys safer and more relaxing by using the Waka Kotahi holiday journey planner.

Traffic through Ashburton is already on the increase and drivers are encouraged to drive to the conditions, and not take unnecessary risks.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency journey planner shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes all over the country during holiday periods, based on previous years’ travel patterns.

Waka Kotahi journey manager for Otago and Southland Nicole Felts says with the Easter holiday, and school holidays from Easter to April 24 and then Anzac Day April 25, Waka Kotahi is expecting that key routes will be busy over the next two to three weeks.

“Please check holiday hotspots if you are heading towards Tasman District, Queenstown Lakes District or Canterbury,” she says.

The alpine passes and small towns like Murchison also have their busy patches over the Easter Weekend.

Vehicles are commonly bumper to bumper through Ashburton.

Single lane north of Kaikoura and at Beaumont, Central Otago

Most road work projects will be packed up over Easter but a single lane site north of Kaikoura on SH1 will remain in place, she said.

Drivers will face a short delay at Ohau Point where a pile drilling rig takes up a lane, controlled by traffic signals 24/7.

Currently there are up to fiveminute delays at this spot, but over Easter the delays could be up to ten minutes due to more traffic.

The worksite has been reduced in length to further help keep delays manageable.

There is also a single lane section of highway with up to five-minute delays at the Beaumont Bridge project site in Central Otago.

Miss Felts said locals are used to it, but visitors should factor in some extra time given it is a key route into Central Otago.

There are simple things we can all do to help keep everyone on the roads safe, she said.

They include:

– Check your vehicle is safe to drive.

– Check your tyres, wipers, lights and indicators, and ensure you have a valid Warrant of Fitness before you leave.

– Drive to the conditions – whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads.

– Make sure everyone does up their seat belt after a break outside the car.

– Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely, and share the driving if possible.

– People towing caravans and boats need to ensure their roadworthiness before attaching them to the tow bar. Stack heavy items toward the front to balance the load and remember the speed limit is 90k/h for towing vehicles.

-Pull over frequently and let queues pass when safe to do so.

Easter Weekend events: Marlborough, Dunedin and Wanaka

Classic Fighters at Omaka Aerodrome south of Blenheim: Blenheim will be busier than usual particularly around the Omaka Aerodrome on the south side of town.

For information on access, buses, park and ride, and car parks: visit online at www.classicfighters.co.nz/gettingthere

Dunedin is hosting a vintage car rally and already there are many classic beauties on the road.

Wheels at Wanaka is happening in the south over Easter so people can expect plenty of traffic around the lake town.

Advice on ways to get to the venue off Sir Tim Wallis Drive with as little stress as possible can be found online at www.wheelsatwanaka.co.nz

And holiday hotspots travelling can be found online at www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/ holiday

Safe travels!