Nick MacKechnie
#8 wire kinda guy.....

Country prepares for chaos on roads – Tomorrow!

Friday, 4 July 2008 05:04 by Nick MacKechnie

Police are urging motorists and commuters across the country to either get to work early tomorrow morning or take the day off work to avoid getting caught up in planned action by truckies over increases in road charges.

Auckland

Police have advised motorists to arrive at work before 7.30am or to avoid travelling on the region's motorways and streets altogether, so as not to get caught up in what will likely be hours of gridlock.

Police have been advised that up to 2,000 heavy trucks will converge on Auckland's CBD after travelling along northern, southern, eastern and western feeder motorways from about 7.30am.

police have predicted that even if the truck numbers are significantly less, there will be heavy congestion around the CBD until midday.

Acting Inspector Ross Endicott-Davies of the Auckland City Police District said police will be doing their best to manage the event and work with the trucking industry.

"Traffic movements within the city will be controlled by SCATS (Sydney Controlled Automated Traffic System) but traffic flows are not expected to get back to normal for several hours after the protest has finished."

He advised people travelling to the airport for early morning flights, to get there well in advance or to consider staying overnight in a hotel, or similar accommodation, near the airport.

Wellington

Wellington police have also advised commuters to avoid motorways and the CBD.

More than 100 trucks were expected to travel in convoy on State Highways 1 and 2, leaving McKays Crossing and Seaview, near Petone, from 7am.

Inspector Simon Perry said the volume of trucks would cause huge delays on the motorway systems, and gridlock the central city.

"This protest is happening in peak time and the convoys may merge as they approach the CBD.

"We expect motorists will need to factor an extra 90 minutes delay into their travel time."

Christchurch

Christchurch police said to expect delays in the north and south of Christchurch.

The truckers are planning to approach the city in convoy from Kaiapoi in the north, via Main North Rd and Papanui Rd.

In the south truckies will protest along Sockburn Rd and Blenheim Rd.

Inspector Derek Erasmus of Christchurch police said the Road Transport Forum had assured police that all truckies would be following rules, they would comply with traffic signs and road rules.

Motorists should take the obvious precautions of allowing extra time, avoiding the main two routes where possible and to be patient.

In town motorists should expect extra trucks on the road. It is believed they will mostly circle the city center and leave via Victoria Street.

Inspector Erasmus says he is unsure how many will be involved but is expecting up to 200 extra trucks on Christchurch roads.

"Obviously depending on their size there will be delays at intersections in Christchurch. Convoys will become broken as they progress through intersections."

"We expect drivers will behave responsibly and comply with law," said Erasmus. "The main issue will be congestion."

Nick.

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