Plan your journey on the Pacific Highway these holidays
Ahead of the busiest time of year on our roads, we have predicted the traffic delay times in key holiday hotspots up and down the NSW coast and are urging holiday goers to plan their journey due to the number of uncontained fires and increased traffic volumes.
Transport for NSW has revealed traffic information about key locations in NSW to help holiday goers better plan their journeys, and is encouraging motorists to visit the NSW Rural Fire Service Fires Near Me and Live Traffic NSW websites for further information about road conditions across the state.
Please find more information below that highlights the delay times prior to Christmas, between Christmas and New Year, and after the New Year.
Grafton (Glenugie) to Ballina, Pacific Highway
Work is continuing on the Glenugie (Grafton) to Ballina section of the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade - we are now more than 75 per cent complete. While we finish this work we ask you to be patient and plan your journey to avoid delays.
Work on the upgrade will stop on Friday 20 December and resume on Monday 6 January. There is no planned work during the holiday period. Emergency maintenance or safety repair work will be carried out as needed. Road work speed limits will be lifted where it is safe to do so.
Some areas will continue to have reduced roadwork speed limits because the road environment has changed. This may be because temporary barriers have been installed slightly reducing lane widths, road shoulders have been narrowed, and lane merges or standard traffic arrangements are different.
Motorists are encouraged to remember PAC – Plan, Awareness, Caution – to ensure everyone has a safe journey.
As Christmas approaches, we will be experiencing the busiest time of the year on our roads with hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers heading to their favourite destinations up and down the NSW coasts.
Based on last year’s traffic data, we predict the weekend before Christmas and the weekend before New Year will be the busiest times to travel along the east coast of NSW.
Woodburn and Hexham have been identified as significant traffic hotspots over this period, with up to 60 minute delays in these locations.
Using information from previous years delay information between Grafton and Ballina we can estimate the delay times expected during the peak travel days over the holiday period. If you are unable to avoid travelling over these days and times, you can consider taking an alternate route via the Bruxner Highway and Summerland Way.
The Bruxner Highway and Summerland Way has less traffic volumes and should provide smoother and more consistent travel time, you could also discover something new on your journey.
Based on last year's delay information at Woodburn, travellers could see delays of about 60 minutes at certain times and days. Use this information to plan your journey to avoid delays.
If you can’t avoid these times consider an alternate route.
Centenary Drive, Clarenza (Grafton)
There will also be changed conditions on Centenary Drive, north of Grafton for all northbound traffic from Saturday 21 December.
The northern end of Centenary Drive at Clarenza will be closed with detours in place for northbound motorists wishing to access the Pacific Highway, north of Grafton. Access to the Pacific Highway from Centenary Drive will be via Duncans Lane and reduced speed limits will be in place for the safety of all road users.
To avoid delays, motorists are urged to remain on the Pacific Highway (instead of using Centenary Drive to bypass South Grafton) and follow the directions provided by roadside signage.
The changes will be in place over the Christmas period, until Saturday 4 January, 2020.
Real time traffic information
For traffic information about key locations in NSW, visit: www.rms.nsw.gov.au/holiday-journeys
For the latest traffic updates download the Live Traffic NSW App, visit livetraffic.com or call 132 701.
For live bushfire updates, visit: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me
Variable message boards
Permanent variable message boards are located on the Pacific Highway and provide real time travel advice. For north bound motorists the permanent message boards are located on the Pacific Highway, north of Coffs Harbour at Arrawarra and Glenugie. For south bound motorists a message board is located at Clarenza near Grafton.
Familiarise yourself with alternative routes you can use if there is heavy traffic on the Pacific Highway. For example: if you are heading north and there are long delays at Woodburn, you could consider travelling the Summerland Way from Grafton to Casino and then the Bruxner Highway from Casino to Ballina.