POLICE are warning of gridlock on Monday as holiday makers take to the Bruce Highway in their thousands for what will be a long drive home.
“Monday will be absolutely chaotic,” Sunshine Coast Police Superintendent Darryl Johnson said.
“The very volume of traffic means it’s going to be a very slow trip home.”
The Bureau of Meteorology told the Sunshine Coast Daily that weather would be another factor with up to 25mm of rain falling in places after weeks of bone dry conditions.
Supt Johnson said the beautiful weather had brought huge numbers of people to the Sunshine Coast over the September holidays with a lot more making the trip for the long weekend.
“I think Saturday and Sunday will be okay (on the highway),” he said.
“People will stay and watch the footy on Sunday night and then head home through Monday.”
Supt Johnson said police would “be out and about” on the roads but there was little they could do proactively because of the sheer volume of traffic.
Aerial view of total gridlock on the Gold Coast after a crash on the M1. Source: Nine Gold Coast News
Aerial footage of crash on the M1
“I expect most will go home Monday putting a lot of people on the road at once,” he said.
“We appeal for drivers to show patience and to be prepared for a slow trip home.
“It only needs one accident to stop the traffic.”
The mid-school holiday changeover last Sunday saw motorists experience travel times of more than two hours from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast.
Monday’s drive home may take considerably longer.
Renee Smith from peak motoring body RACQ urged people who can change plans to head home earlier to do so with far less traffic expected Sunday.
“We would encourage drivers to plan their journey to allow for the extra time it will take (on Monday),” Ms Smith said.
“There is going to be a lot of traffic from the long weekend and school holidays and with the bad weather we know it will be hectic.”