Main highway passing lanes to close for holidays

File photo.

Holidaymakers travelling south of Auckland won't have access to some passing lanes over the holiday period.

The passing lanes on the main highway which connects Auckland to the Coromandel and Tauranga will close during peak times, says the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Acting system manager Ross I'Anson says the closures at Maramarua on State Highway 2 would make the road safer in heavy traffic.

"Slightly longer queues can be expected when the passing lanes are closed but there will be minimal impact to overall travel times.

"We ask drivers to be patient and allow extra time for their journey so that everybody gets home or to their destination safely."

The lane closures would help maintain a steady flow and prevent the risk of crashes as traffic merges at the end of the passing lane, he says.

In the 2017/2018 Christmas and New Year period, there were 11 fatal crashes and 329 reported injury crashes in New Zealand, Ministry of Transport figures show.

These crashes resulted in the deaths of eight drivers, three passengers and one motorbike rider.

NZTA says the passing lane for east-bound traffic on State Highway 2 near Mangatawhiri Rd would be closed on December 21 from midday until 10pm, December 22 from 9am-5pm and December 26 from 9am-5pm.

The passing lane near the Maramarua Golf Club, the Golf Rd off ramp and Koheroa Rd on ramp for west-bound traffic would be closed on January 5 from 10am-11pm and January 6 from 10am-11pm.

However, I'Anson said reopening of the lanes and ramps would depend on traffic flow.

If traffic stayed heavy, the closures would remain in place longer.


The busiest time for eastbound traffic on SH2 Maramarua was December 22 from about 9am until midday, NZTA statistics showed.

December 26 between 10am and 1pm and December 27 from 9am until 5pm were also predicted to be busy.

Westbound on SH2 Maramarua, traffic was expected to be busy on January 1, 2, 3 and 6.

-Stuff/Danielle Clent.

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mr trafficman

Posted on 19-12-2018 18:35 | By Delboy

Oh Dear,I.m sure the guys who think these ideas up are probably chauffeured around everyday and have heaps of time.Most people are pretty good drivers just a few idiots now and again,This will make things a lot worse overall.


Posted on 19-12-2018 17:57 | By Dismayed

Another counter productive policy from people that have no actual clue! Try implementing positive change for once, or maybe even look to foreign research for ideas......Stop asking your damn kids every time!!

Unbelievably stupid

Posted on 19-12-2018 15:13 | By Bay Citizen

This is clearly something thought up by someone with no experience of the real world. I’m sure on a computer simulation it worked rather well and smoothed traffic flows nicely, but it takes no account of the psychology of real life driving. It will cause immense frustration leading to insane overtaking manoeuvres and fatal crashes. I hope the guys at NZTA are comfortable with that, because innocent blood will be on their hands. The misapprehension is obvious from NZTA’s assertion that "there will be minimal impact to overall travel times". Let’s be clear, driver frustration and its consequences are due to being forced to conform to someone else’s driving style / preferences, NOT overall travel times. Taking away passing lanes increases this problem.

Road rage

Posted on 19-12-2018 14:27 | By nerak



Posted on 19-12-2018 12:54 | By overit

Better stay home.

NZTA strikes again

Posted on 19-12-2018 12:46 | By noj

Oh well done NZTA - that’ll really help with the traffic flow and won’t cause any frustrations and crazy overtaking at all!

How bloody stupid!!

Posted on 19-12-2018 12:16 | By The Professor

I cannot for the life of me see the logic behind this madness!!! I hope the emergency services have cancelled all leave because when drivers trying to get from A to B are held up by campervans, slow moving lorries and car drivers doing 20 under the limit can’t pass because the overtaking lanes are closed off, begin overtaking on stretches of road which don’t have overtaking lanes, there are bound to be horrendous consequences i.e. head on crashes. These decision makers need their heads examined......totally ridiculous!!!

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