Police plea for patience in gridlock

RACHEL THOMAS
Last updated 05:00 14/06/2014
Waikato Times

National Fieldays CEO Jon Calder celebrates clear skies and huge visitor numbers for day three at Mystery Creek in Waikato.

2014 National Fieldays
BRUCE MERCER/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Anywhere will do as a youngster takes a nap at the 2014 National Fieldays.

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Police are advising motorists heading to Fieldays today to leave early, have patience, and be prepared for major delays.

Those who came by bike or boat yesterday would have long beaten visitors who drove to Mystery Creek, with some cars spending up to 2 hours in traffic to attend Fieldays.

"It's going to be the same [today]," Waikato Police District communications manager Andrew McAlley said.

"We've had two wet days and now we have fine weather so it's going to be carnage."

He said anyone flying out of Hamilton Airport today should allow at least 2 -3 hours to get to the airport.

McAlley said some minor accidents yesterday morning contributed to traffic woes, including a three-car accident at the intersection of Newell Rd and Airport Rd which caused significant delays.

McAlley said traffic queues were up to 24km long at 11.30am yesterday coming from the north and south routes to Fieldays, and routes through Matangi were particularly bad.

"You certainly would have gotten here a lot faster if you were on your push bike."

Fieldays organisers said more than 41,000 people passed through the gates yesterday and spokeswoman Vicki Annison said she expected similar figures today.

Her advice to visitors was to leave as early as possible and be patient with parking teams.

"Tune into local radio stations and keep an eye out for traffic warnings."

Annison said the Waikato River Explorer is running a Fieldays Ferry, with return trips departing from Hamilton Gardens Jetty at 8.30am and 10.30am this morning and returning from Mystery Creek at 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

For more information on the Waikato River Explorer and to book see waikatoexplorer.co.nz/book-fieldays-ferry

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