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Winter Storm Update 4 – Central Plateau

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The NZ Transport Agency says a small number of central North Island roads are beginning to open this afternoon but extra care is needed while there is still ice and snow on the road.

SH5 Napier Taupo Road

Conditions on the State Highway 5 Napier Taupo Road today.

The Transport Agency’s spokesperson, Karen Boyt, says people should drive to the conditions and be ready for unexpected hazards when using the areas affected by heavy rain, ice or snow.

She says the snow will be high along the sides of the roads which will reduce pullover space.

Ms Boyt says the snow will also melt slowly so there may be ice and slushy conditions.

Further updates and the latest information on other roads is provided at www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic (external link)

State Highway 46 and State Highway 47

Rangipo to National Park are now open but road users are advised to take extra care because of the snow on the road.

SH2 Waioeka Gorge: State Highway 2 between Opotiki and Gisborne is expected to open to one lane at 2pm this afternoon. The road was closed after a large slip last Friday. The site will be monitored over the weekend. Road users can expect delays of up to 30 minutes as work continues to stabilise the site. The NZ Transport Agency says people should drive to the conditions and be ready for unexpected hazards when using this road as the road and surrounding area is still wet.

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.
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