The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is temporarily closing down its road works activities in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions over the Christmas/New Year period to reduce inconvenience for motorists as the holiday season gets underway.
NZTA state highway managers, Kaye Clark (Waikato) and Brett Gliddon (Bay of Plenty) say the move is part of the Agency's annual shutdown of its maintenance works, which recognises that the bulk of holiday travel happens over Christmas and New Year.
"Maintaining and repairing the region's roads is an integral part of the NZTA's focus on Safer Journeys for all road users, which includes safer roads and roadsides as one of its four key 'safe system' focus points (the others being safe speeds; safe vehicles; and safe drivers)," says Mrs Clark.
"However, we do want to ensure people are not unduly inconvenienced during the busiest holiday traffic period of the year - so we're shutting down road works as we head into the Christmas/New Year break."
Mr Gliddon says although road crews will not be in action during the shutdown period, some road work sites in shutdown mode will still require extra attention and care from motorists passing through. "These locations will still have unmanned traffic management in place - so we'd ask that people be aware of these sites and take note of signage and any speed restrictions and traffic controls in place."
Both encourage motorists to take a moment to plan their journey before they travel these holidays, using the NZTA's free information online or by phone. "Remember to ensure your vehicle is warranted, registered and in a safe condition before you head out. Don't drive when you've been driving or taking medication or other drugs - and take regular breaks on your trip to avoid driving while fatigued," says Mrs Clark.
The NZTA's website is regularly updated with details on road works, closures and detour information at
www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic. This information is also available by phoning the NZTA's freephone on 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49), which can also be used to report any significant road issues or hazards which people may come across during their travels.