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Consider delaying travel until later in the week

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The NZ Transport Agency is advising people who want to pass through or to the central North Island to consider delaying their travel until later in the week.

The main routes through the centre of the North Island and State Highway 5 Napier-Taupo are closed because of ice or snow. Currently the best connections to the upper half of the north island is via State Highway 3 New Plymouth.  As the weather system is continuing to move up the north island the situation can change rapidly and current closures can be found here: http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link) or by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

A Transport Agency spokesperson, Karen Boyt, says this is a significant weather event and everyone in the central North Island and up in to the Waikato region should be delaying non-essential travel.

“Staff are out on the roads around the central North Island clearing snow and preparing for ice where they can, but the roads should only be used for emergencies or for necessary business.

“We also need people to start thinking about their longer term plans as well and considering delaying them because once the ice thaws out we can see an increase in slips and rockfalls.

“If you do have to travel check our website before you leave and drive to the conditions,” Ms Boyt says.

How to stay up to date

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.
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