NSW traffic: Peak holiday traffic expected as travellers exit city in mass departure

Thousands of holiday travellers are hitting the roads after the Christmas rush on Tuesday, making for one of the busiest days on major roads in Sydney.

Aerial vision of major exit routes out of the city is showing heavy traffic building as people make their escape from the city before the new year.

By about 9am, traffic could be seen piling up on both northbound and southbound roads.

Transport for NSW executive director Roger Weeks said last week holiday traffic tends to peak around December 27.

Increased traffic and delays are expected entering and leaving Sydney via the Hume Highway and Princes Highway to the south, Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road to the west and Pacific Highway, M1 Pacific Motorway and NorthConnex to the north.

Drivers heading northbound on the Pacific Motorway near Wahroonga can expect traffic to peak at about 1pm on Tuesday, according to historical data from Transport for NSW.

Travelling at this time could add 40 minutes to their trip.

To avoid delays, travelling outside of the hours of 11am and 2pm is advised.

Likewise, travellers heading southbound on the Princes Highway at Nowra can expect to be hit by the worst delays at 1pm.

Travelling at this time could add a delay of 45 minutes to travel time, with traffic not expected to ease completely until after 4pm.

Heavy holiday traffic was reported at about 9am heading northbound near Newcastle on the M1 Pacific Motorway, John Renshaw Drive and New England Highway.

Drivers have been warned to leave an additional 20 minutes to get to their destination on time.

Significant pinch points are expected at holiday hot spots, particularly at Coffs Harbour, Hexham, Blackheath, Nowra and Jervis Bay.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole has reminded drivers to take care on the roads this holiday season.

“It might be called the silly season, but it’s absolutely critical people are sensible on our roads these holidays,” he said.

“That means planning ahead, driving to the conditions and being courteous to other motorists.

“Whether you’re heading north along the Pacific Highway, west along the Great Western Highway or south along the Princes Highway, make sure you plan ahead and follow the advice on the best time to travel to avoid delays.”

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