Sep 28, 2023

Spring into action and plan ahead to avoid holiday traffic

School is out across New South Wales, but road safety is always in session with motorists being reminded to factor in extra travel times as holidaymakers flock to regional NSW to enjoy the warm weather this long weekend. 

Transport for NSW Acting Chief Customer Officer Roger Weeks said the strong advice is to plan road trips in advance, including when you intend to set off, and where you take breaks, to best avoid the busiest travel times. 

“Thousands of people will be heading to the coast which will inevitably lead to delays across the network. Trends from previous years tell us that traffic will start building from Friday morning and continue into Saturday as people head off to their destinations. 

“No one likes being stuck in traffic. Avoiding peak times can help you start your holiday off feeling stress-free. If you do have to travel during the holiday peaks, allow extra time to get to your destination and pack plenty of patience,’ Mr. Weeks said. 

“The long weekend falls in the middle of the school holidays this year, so we’re expecting routes to family holiday hotspots both up and down the coast to be busy.  

“We will be monitoring traffic at known pinch points like Coffs Harbour, Hexham, Blackheath, Mt Victoria, Nowra and Jervis Bay and implementing arrangements as required, but motorists should still prepare for delays.   

"The heaviest outbound traffic is forecast on the M1 Pacific Motorway and Pacific Highway heading north, the Great Western Highway heading west and the Hume Motorway and Princes Highways heading south.” 

“We’re expecting routes heading back towards Sydney to be busiest on the public holiday Monday, with a second wave of return traffic on at the end of the school holidays on Sunday 8 October.” 

People travelling south toward the airport or Sydney CBD over the long weekend should allow extra travel time, with delays and detours expected due to multiple closures on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Warringah Freeway for scheduled road work. 

“Motorists travelling on the NorthConnex motorway between Wahroonga and West Pennant Hills may also notice signs saying M11 alongside the NorthConnex name, with the motorway now also referred to as the M11 to align with the NSW motorways’ numbering system.”   

Drivers should also factor in additional travel time around special events as spectators descend on the Koori Knockout on the Central Coast from 29 September to 2 October, and the Bathurst 1000 from 5-8 October in the state’s Central West. 

Head of Transport Safety Peter Dunphy said this school holiday period, drivers should take extra care and avoid distractions and risks to help everyone make it to their destination safely. 

“Tragically, as of midnight 27 September 265 people have lost their lives on NSW roads so far this year which is 61 more than for the same time last year,” said Mr. Dunphy.    

“With more people on the road it’s really important people stick to the speed limit, make sure they’re well rested, put the phone away and never ever drive if affected by drugs or alcohol.”  

“Double Demerits will be in operation over the October long weekend from Friday 29 September to Monday 2 October for all speeding, seatbelt and mobile phone offences to encourage holidaymakers to drive safely.” 

For the most up-to-date information, holidaymakers can download the Live Traffic NSW app, visit, call 132 701 and use the TfNSW journey planning tool to find out when roads will be busiest.