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Check before travelling as heavy snow expected

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The NZ Transport Agency is advising all people wanting to travel through the Central Plateau to check the Traffic and Travel website before leaving.

Freezing temperatures and heavy snow are expected in the area today and tomorrow. The MetService currently has road snowfall warnings in place for State Highway 5 Napier-Taupo Road and State Highway 1 the Desert Road.

A Transport Agency spokesperson, Karen Boyt, says if you are able to, you should consider postponing your journey.

“We are monitoring and working on the roads 24/7 - our staff have been doing their best to keep the road open overnight by doing things such as laying grit and the snow ploughs are being used.

“But the driving conditions out there are not good so if you can please delay your travel.

“If you do have to travel check our website before leaving and make sure you follow our simple rules for safe winter travelling,’ Ms Boyt says.

The Desert Road is expected to be closed all day after a crash near Waihohonu Stream. The cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed. The truck is expected to be removed today but there has been some damage to the bridge and an urgent assessment is being carried out by Transport Agency engineers. It is likely that once the truck is removed the road will be opened to one lane until repairs can be completed. The current detour is expected to add 40 minutes to a journey.

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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