Afternoon Kaikoura convoy cancelled due to bad weather and safety risks

The NZ Transport Agency has cancelled this afternoon’s planned convoy out of Kaikoura on the inland Mt Lyford road (route 70) due to the poor weather creating a high risk of rock falls and landslides.

Transport Agency Regional Performance Manager Pete Connors says wet weather has significantly increased the risk of rockfalls and landslides on the already fragile route, making it unsafe for travel.

'We know this is disappointing for people who were very keen to make the trip out, but with several hours of rain and drizzle today the situation on the ground is too unstable to allow the travel to go ahead safely. The safety of people using the road and our contractors working on the road is paramount, and the risk of rockfalls and landslides was just too high to allow vehicles through this afternoon.'

Mr Connors says increasing public access in and out of Kaikoura via this inland road (route 70) is an urgent priority as crews continue working to repair the severe damage wrought by the November 14 earthquake.

A daily schedule for supervised travel in and out of Kaikoura on the inland route was set up earlier this week, with 43 vehicles travelling into Kaikoura between 8am and 10am today. Around 50 vehicles were registered to leave Kaikoura thisafternoon.

For safety reasons only people that have registered with the Transport Agency will be able to travel during the scheduled times.

Mr Connors says people that have registered to travel over the next fortnight should be aware that there may be cancellations at times due to safety on the route.

The schedule and how to register for travel on the inland route can be found here(external link): link)

People who had registered to travel during today’s 2pm-4pm convoy will need to re-register for the next suitable trip.