Central plateau snow warning for drivers


Central North Island travellers are being urged to plan travel times and routes with snow likely to close Central North Island roads tonight and over the weekend.

The NZ Transport Agency says it will have crews out on both SH1 Desert Road and SH5 Napier-Taupo Road but both roads are likely to face closures.

“We urge people to check the latest conditions and consider other routes. Our contractors will do their best to keep roads open as long as it is safe to do so, but with conditions like these it’s important to plan ahead and check for the latest information,’’ says Transport Agency Regional Performance Manager Karen Boyt.

“Winter maintenance crews will be on these roads and monitoring the weather throughout the weekend and clearing the roads as required.’’

On the Napier-Taupo Road 30-60cm of snow is expected down to 400m above sea level tonight, dropping to 200m later in the weekend. The forecast is similar for the Desert Road with the risk of 1m drifts.

“Please drive to the conditions, check our website for updated conditions and road closures and, in planning your journey, please think about using alternative routes when conditions are marginal,” Ms Boyt says.

She urges drivers to take extra care on these alpine roads, slow down, increase following distances and to be patient.

Drivers are urged to check the latest driving conditions on the Transport Agency’s traffic map or by ringing 0800 44 44 49 before travelling, and the MetService’s heavy snow warning(external link) page.

For more winter driving tips and information, visit the Transport Agency’s Winter Journeys webpage.