Wellington Scoop

Delays up to 60 minutes for southbound traffic between Levin and Peka Peka

There’s been congestion all afternoon on State Highway One for traffic heading back to Wellington.

At midday, the Transport Agency reported delays of up to 30 minutes between Levin and Otaki.

At 1.20pm, delays of up to 45 minutes were reported from Levin to Peka Peka (where the new expressway begins.)

By 5.30, things were worse – it was taking an hour to get from Levin to the entrance to the new two-lane highway at Peka Peka. But at 6pm, congestion was easing and delays were back to 45 minutes.

Further south, another set of afternoon delays:

Then at 7pm: a crash on SH1 south of Raumati was partially blocking lanes near Waterfall Road.

Wellington.Scoop – April 14
Congestion on State Highway 1 caused long delays for motorists heading out of Wellington today.

At 11.19 the Transport Agency reported that delays between Raumati and Otaki were up to 45 minutes.

Then at 1pm, the delays had got worse – congestion of up to 60 minutes for north-bound traffic between Plimmerton and Otaki.

Among those delayed was Wellington city councillor Sarah Free.

At 11.20 she reported:

It’s a shocker, we’ve gone 500m in 30 mins, now just speeding to a dramatic 10 km/hr!

At 3.20, the Transport Agency confirmed that delays were continuing.

At 4.15, however, congestion was starting to ease, with 30 minutes as the travel time from Plimmerton to Otaki. And at 4.45 the Transport Agency announced that “congestion has eased.” Presumably meaning that traffic was flowing freely, after a day of delays. “Thank you for your patience,” said the Agency. It did not apologise.

There was further congestion on SH1 between Sanson and Bulls after a truck crash which closed the road in Bulls between Bridge street and Criterion Street. A minor detour was in place but due to the Easter weekend, traffic was congested .


  1. IanS, 14. April 2017, 16:50

    Who was it said “build a road and they will come”?
    Heaven help us in the middle of Wellington when Transmission Gully is ‘finished’.

  2. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 14. April 2017, 18:28

    The Plimmerton northbound clearway operates on public holidays 1030 to 1330 hrs. At 1300 the VMS said clearway not in use. Why? [via twitter]

  3. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 14. April 2017, 18:32

    Why should NZTA be expected to apologise? They provided timely information but there isn’t much more that could be done to cope with extraordinary demand for highway capacity between Porirua and Otaki, which happens out of commuter peak times, predictably just a few times a year. Anyway, road capacity improvements are being designed and constructed along this route.

  4. Marion Leader, 14. April 2017, 18:33

    Luckily the NZTA is a masterful organisation which will be clever enough to sort out all the problems in time for the Grand Opening of Transmission Gully.

  5. Lindsay, 14. April 2017, 22:23

    They could apologise for failing to organise the northbound clearway as was needed on a public holiday. It should have been a clearway all day…

  6. TrevorH, 15. April 2017, 7:53

    This item raises many questions. Are Greens allowed to travel by car? Why do people flee Wellington like lemmings at the first opportunity? Is it because it is such a livable city? Who engineered the main street of Otaki as part of State Highway One? Are we there yet, etc?

  7. Jo, 15. April 2017, 14:36

    When we drove from Wellington to Waikanae Beach on Friday 10 February we left the city just after 2pm and didn’t arrive till 5:15pm. When SH1 goes from 2 or more lanes into one and travels past Coastlands expect delays. We traveled that route again just recently and there were very minor hold ups. We left around 4:30pm and while it was a Friday it was not a long weekend. We traveled on the new expressway and arrived at the same destination in just over an hour. If you travel out of Wellington on a long weekend expect delays, motor vehicles are really the only options and until there is very good public transport to most towns and cities there will be delays.

  8. Peter Dunne, 17. April 2017, 20:46

    Does anyone know a reason for traffic delays south of Paekakariki? No good asking NZTAWgtn – they’ve already closed up for the night! [via twitter]