Rodney Times : December 21st 2010
www.rodneytimes.co.nz Tuesday, December 21, 2010 We would like to wish our readers and advertisers a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for all your support in 2010. Our offices are now closed and will re-open on Monday 10th January at 8.30am Traffic jams ahead Popular: Auckland Council says regional park campsites are heavily booked over the holiday break which will draw thousands to roads in the area. Inset: Police are warning motorists to expect traffic delays this holiday season. Photo: AUCKLAND COUNCIL By CARALISE MOORE ' Police are halving the speed tolerance to 5kmh from December 24 to January 5. ' Sergeant Steve Perris Rodney police MOTORISTS in a hurry to get to their holiday des- tinations can expect to see thousands of others with the same idea on the roads this holiday season. The NZ Transport Agency says traffic usually peaks in Rodney from Christmas Eve and stays consistently busy right through to New Year. Auckland Council manages bookings for regional park campsites and says it is heavily booked over the hol- iday break throughout the district -- and that means thousands of cars on the roads. The most popular spots are Shakespear, Tawharanui and Mahurangi Regional Park,'' Auckland Council regional and specialist parks manager Mace Ward says. From Christmas onwards all the parks are fully booked, so make sure you give us a call and book a place before just turning up,'' Mr Ward says. We don't like to disappoint campers.'' The NZTA expects volumes on State Highway 1 to increase almost 50 percent during peak times between Christmas and New Year with volumes heavy between 9am and 6pm. State Highway 1 between Puhoi and Warkworth is one of the busiest sections of road in the district. There were seven road fatalities in the Rodney area this year and police are urg- ing motorists to drive care- fully over the holiday season. Sergeant Steve Perris of the Rodney Strategic Traffic Unit advises motorists to reduce speed and avoid alcohol. Police will be putting more officers on the roads and reducing the speed tolerance to 5km for all permanent posted speed limits from December 24 to January 5 to make the roads safer. They will increase alcohol enforcement with more booze buses and check points, close passing lanes to keep traffic flowing smoothly, and keep motorists informed about road conditions through the media and the NZTA. Mr Perris recommends motorists carry out all the necessary safety checks on vehicles before leaving home, drive to the conditions taking extra care with speed, and if people are going to drink, plan a safe way of getting home. We all need to work together to make sure every journey over these holidays is a safe one,'' he says. The NZTA says drivers should use State Highway 16 as an alternative route to State Highway 1, avoid trav- elling at peak times, keep safe distances and pay atten- tion to roadside electronic signs advising them of con- ditions ahead. The agency has installed a webcam showing real-time traffic volumes on the strip of road near the Johnstones Hill tunnels. The cameras provide updated online images every 60 seconds. There are 50 webcams around the Auckland region which give motorists an idea of what the traffic flow is like. Visit www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic to view the images. PAY THE TOLL NZ Transport Agency is reminding motorists planning to use the Northern Gateway Toll Rd to try and prepay the toll journey before leaving home. Tolls can be paid online at www.tollroad.govt.nz, or by freephone, 0800-402-020. Accounts can be set up online and friends and families' registration plates can be loaded to one account, pre-paid trips are valid for 180 days. People have up to five days to pay after using the toll road before being charged extra. A final option is the toll payment kiosks at the BP Service Station at Dairy Flat and on State Highway 1.
December 16th 2010
December 23rd 2010