MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Transport Agency – Release/Statement
Headline: Winter storm update 3 – Central Plateau
The NZ Transport Agency is asking people to continue to avoid all non-essential travel across the central North Island.
Currently the only north to south routes that are open between Auckland and Wellington are located on both edges of the island – along State Highway 3 on the west coast and State Highway 35 around the East Cape.
MetService is warning snow will continue to fall on State Highway 1 Desert Road and the higher parts of State Highway 5 Napier-Taupo Road until late Friday.
There are also several local road closures. These closures can be checked with District Councils.
NZ Transport Agency spokesperson, Karen Boyt, says with more snow expected to fall people should still delay their journeys if they can.
“We are expecting ice and more snow on the roads so people should delay all non-essential travel.
“Staff and equipment from the upper North Island has been called in to get the roads open as quickly as possible.
“And our crews will be out ploughing the snow on the routes that we know will be the most likely to open first,” Ms Boyt says.
People are advised to slow down and watch for unexpected hazards as melting snow and ice can cause slips and rockfall.
SH2 Waioeka Gorge: State Highway 2 between Opotiki and Gisborne was closed at the Waioeka Gorge last Friday after a large slip fell on the road. The last of the slip is expected to be removed Friday and barriers that catch debris will be put in place. If weather conditions allow the Transport Agency expects one lane to open Friday afternoon. The site will be monitored over the weekend. Road users can expect delays of up to 30 minutes as work continues to stablise the site.
How to stay up to date:
- The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions is www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic (external link)
- Important information is also shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here
- Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can provide them with traffic and travel information either before they’re travelling or when they’re on the road, safely parked off the highway
- MetService road snowfall warnings here (external link)
- MetService severe weather warnings here (external link)
Simple rules for safe winter travelling:
- Allow extra time
- Ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving
- Drive to the road and weather conditions
- Slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards
- Allow greater following distance between you and the vehicle ahead
- Make sure your cell phone is well charged, check car charger also
- Have blankets, snacks, bottles of water ready in case of emergency or a breakdown.