Easter traf­fic backs up

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

Re­turn­ing hol­i­day mo­torists on State High­way 1 north of Welling­ton faced long de­lays on Easter Mon­day.

The NZ Trans­port Agency said south­bound de­lays between Levin and Peka Peka peaked at more than an hour in the af­ter­noon, but eased by 8.15pm.

One trav­eller said about 5.30pm that SH1 between Otaki and San­son was vir­tu­ally at a stand­still. ‘‘The fastest you go at any point is 20kmh for about a minute.’’

An­other mo­torist said it had taken her an hour to get from Levin to Otaki in ‘‘shock­ingly ter­ri­ble traf­fic’’.

The Otaki round­about south­bound was down to one lane about 5.30pm, with traf­fic crawl­ing through from two di­rec­tions.

Mo­torists try­ing to take a short cut around SH1 clogged Rahui Rd, which joins the round­about from the east.

An empty pie warmer and a line of 25 peo­ple wait­ing to use the toi­let greeted cus­tomers at BP ser­vice sta­tion next to the round­about. A staff mem­ber said traf­fic had been crawl­ing since 9am.

Three peo­ple died on the roads over the long week­end.

An al­leged hit-and-run, a mo­tor­bike race ac­ci­dent and a col­li­sion between a four-wheel- drive and a tanker claimed the lives.

Ruaraidh McLeod, 25, was killed in a crash at the Methven Easter mo­tor­cy­cle street races about 12.50pm on Satur­day. The death was not in­cluded in the of­fi­cial road toll as the road was closed to the pub­lic at the time.

The sec­ond death was early on Sun­day near Gis­borne. Po­lice said a man died at the scene af­ter an in­ci­dent in Ru­a­to­ria about 12.40am on Sun­day.

Later on Sun­day morn­ing, 21-year-old Conor Drake from Otau­tau in South­land was killed af­ter his 4WD col­lided with a milk tanker.

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