Traffic snarls that have tested the patience of holiday motorists all day are starting to ease. Delays at Bulahdelah are down to about 20 minutes. Traffic is also flowing more efficiently over the Hexham Bridge.
The Roads and Transit Authority has warned travellers to exercise caution and allow at least 35 minutes extra travel time.
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Stop, revive survive:
Where to find driver-reviver rest stops.
Beresfield: End of the F3, Lenaghans Road and John Renshaw Drive.
Bulahdelah: Pacific Highway, Nerong Water Holes.
Merriwa: Lions Park, Bettington and Brisbanes streets.
Nabiac: Wang Wauk Rest Area, Pacific Highway.
Raymond Terrace: 12 Mile Rest Area Pacific Highway and Medowie Road northbound and southbound.
Singleton: Town Head Park, New England Highway, east of town.
Traffic chaos hits the Hunter
TRAFFIC chaos hit the Hunter yesterday as a head-on collision at Williamtown and bottlenecks at Beresfield and Bulahdelah caused problems for motorists looking to get away for the Easter long weekend.
A 45-year-old male suffered multiple injuries when his station wagon collided with a four-wheel-drive utility about 3.40pm on Nelson Bay Road.
The man, the sole occupant of his vehicle, had to be cut free from the wreckage by SES volunteers.
He suffered injuries to his head, chest and legs and the Westpac rescue helicopter flew him to the John Hunter Hospital where he was in a serious condition last night.
The occupant of the four-wheel-drive, a 25-year-old man, was treated at the scene for lacerations to his head before being taken to the John Hunter Hospital.
He was in a stable condition last night.
A third vehicle, believed to have been trying to avoid the collision, also crashed on Nelson Bay Road about 3.40pm.
The accident closed Nelson Bay Road in both directions, slowed traffic to a crawl for more than four hours and created queues as long as nine kilometres on nearby roads.
Motorists heading north along the Pacific Highway were brought to a standstill at Bulahdelah yesterday as the notorious bottleneck wreaked havoc for more than eight hours.
The RTA issued its first warning about 10.30am, advising motorists to allow extra travel time and, if possible, avoid the area..
The warning was cancelled at 7pm and traffic began to flow freely on the highway until a car hit a pedestrian on the corner of Stuart Street at 7.15pm.
The incident affected traffic in both directions and created seven-kilometre queues.
Police have revealed that new sections of divided road on the Pacific Highway have moved serious-injury and fatal car crashes further north.
While motorists continue to wait for the pledged $6billion upgrade to Australia’s deadliest stretch of road – the 340kilometres of mostly single-lane highway between Nambucca Heads and the NSW-Queensland border – police will saturate the region with more officers than ever before.
A little more than half of the highway between Sydney and Tweed Heads is dual carriageway, but the main arterial south of the border – mostly winding, undulating and a single-lane in each direction – is still a menace.
To try to counteract the carnage, there will be more highway patrol officers on the road this long weekend than any other holiday period in NSW history – more than 1000 in total.