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Drivers urged to take care on busy weekend

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/06/2017

People taking to the roads, including numerous British and Irish Lions rugby fans, are being urged to be patient and drive according to the conditions over the Queen's Birthday Weekend.

Acting road policing national manager Inspector Gini Welch says the upper North Island is expected to be particularly busy, as travellers head to Whangarei for the Lions' tour opener on Saturday.

This will be followed by fans returning to Auckland ahead of the Lions match against the Blues on Wednesday.

Insp Welch says people should guard against fatigue and also allow plenty of time for their journey.

"Our unique geography and weather can also make for challenging driving conditions," she said.

"So all on the roads, regardless of where they are from, need to be alert to these hazards and drive accordingly.''

Last year, 11 people died on New Zealand's roads during the official holiday weekend, which runs from 4pm on Friday to 6am on Tuesday. In 2013, there was no fatalities.

Insp Welch said police would be highly visible and active with random breath-testing, seatbelt checks and enforcement of a reduced 4km/h speed threshold over the long weekend.

The NZ Transport Agency said roads and highways in and around Auckland and Northland would be busy and delays inevitable.

The busiest times on Friday would be on State Highway 1 heading north towards Puhoi and south towards Takanini in the afternoon and evening.

Plenty of traffic was also expected on SH 2 towards Coromandel.

On Monday, as people head home, the heaviest flows would be on the same routes from lunchtime until about 6pm.

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