Cold. wet weather is expected to converge on Wellington in the next 24 hours, and the NZ Transport Agency is urging motorists to plan their journeys to ensure they keep safe and leave enough time for travel.
NZTA Central Operations Manager Mark Owen says weather is expected to take a bitter turn over the next few days, which means motorists need to be prepared for potentially treacherous road conditions.
"Winter roads demand winter driving. When the weather hits, roads can get slippery from ice and rain, and we'd hate to have any tragedies from someone travelling too fast for the conditions when all that's needed is a little bit of extra care.
"We're urging motorists to watch their speeds and following distances, and take real care when taking corners.
"High winds are also forecast, and people need to be super vigilant in exposed areas because sudden gusts of wind can send debris flying across your path, or can send your vehicle or bike off course."
Mr Owen says bad weather means trips are likely to take longer, and motorists are advised to leave some extra time up their sleeve for their journeys, or consider adjusting their travel plans to off-peak times if possible.
He says the NZTA was monitoring the transport network 24/7, in conjunction with Police and Wellington City Council, from the Wellington Traffic Operations Centre.
"This enables us to keep a close eye on our road network, and monitor challenging areas like the Rimutaka Hill Road so we can respond immediately to emergencies and delays.
"To keep the highways safe and open for business, we have teams of contractors ready and waiting to be dispatched to battle against slips and snowfalls."
Mr Owen says that before hitting the road, motorists can check the NZTA's website (www.nzta.govt.nz(external link)) for real time traffic information, or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS. Motorists can also check out the live traffic cameras to see first-hand how traffic conditions are looking before they set out on their journeys.