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Motorists urged to take care on South Island roads

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The NZ Transport Agency says drivers need to be extra vigilant in Canterbury, Otago and Southland, with the wintry blast expected to continue to affect many roads in these regions over the next two days.

The NZ Transport Agency says drivers need to be extra vigilant in Canterbury, Otago and Southland, with the wintry blast expected to continue to affect many roads in these regions over the next two days.

Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright says showers are forecast in many places on Wednesday, with the potential for snow down to 200 metres. Contractors will be gritting areas of black ice Wednesday morning around the roading network, she said.

Ms Wright says motorists should be prepared especially if they’re travelling the alpine passes such as SH73 Arthurs Pass, SH7 Lewis Pass and SH8 Lindis Pass, as the weather in these locations can change very quickly and catch people out. “Please carry chains and know how to use them,” she said.

SH7 - LEWIS PASS
Snow showers are expected to develop from Wednesday evening through to Thursday evening. From 6pm Wednesday to midnight Thursday, 5 to 10cm may accumulate near the summit of the road, with smaller amounts to 300 metres.

SH73 - ARTHURS PASS
Snow showers are expected to return Wednesday evening then clear by Thursday evening. Between 6pm Wednesday and 6pm Thursday, 1 to 3cm may accumulate above
400 metres.

SH80 (Mt Cook highway) is open, with winter driving conditions (snow and ice).

SH8 (Lindis Pass) is open, also with winter driving conditions (snow and ice).

SH75 (Banks Peninsula) - Contractors are monitoring conditions ready to grit roads where needed.

“At this time of year, it is important people plan their journeys,” said Ms Wright. “It starts with checking the weather forecast and road conditions, considering if you really need to travel when ice and snow are forecast, choose the safest route - even if it is the longest - and driving to the conditions. People should also remember road closures and restrictions are to protect them and other road users.”

For the latest in road information, check this web page(external link)  (www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link)) or free phone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS, 0800 44 44 49 or check the Transport Agency’s South Island facebook(external link) page.

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