New Zealand / Transport

Traffic builds for travellers returning home after Easter

21:40 pm on 5 April 2021

Motorists heading home after the long Easter weekend are still facing delays on the roads.

File photo. Photo: 123rf

By late afternoon Easter Monday traffic was still heavy on State Highway 1 north of Auckland, between Wellsford and Silverdale, data from Waka Kotahi / Transport Agency showed.

Waka Kotahi data showed the trip was taking almost an hour, when it usually takes 35 minutes in free-flowing traffic.

It was also busy on State Highway 1 south of the city, with delays on the southern motorway from Bombay.

On Monday night, a crash blocked the right northbound lane between Bombay and Ramarama for about an hour.

There was also congestion on State Highway 1 from Levin to Waikanae north of Wellington, for those returning to Wellington.

In Canterbury, strong wind warnings were in place and motorists in high-sided vehicles, or riding motorbikes, were urged to take care.

Bleak 2021 Easter road toll figures

Easter road deaths had been high this year, with seven people killed already - more than most years of the past decade.

The Ministry of Transport's official Easter holiday period ends on Tuesday at 6am.

Police patrols were aiming to make their presence felt in the traffic on Monday, and were particularly watching for unsafe driving and people using their phones while they drove, National Road Policing Centre acting director, Inspector Pete Jones said.

He said preparing ahead was the smart way to travel safe: "Are you well rested, have you eaten and are you hydrated?

"Once you're in the car, don't speed, drive to the conditions, wear your seatbelt and be patient. There will be a lot of traffic on the road so be courteous and keep a safe following distance."