Freight Advisory – Alternate South Island routes for HPMV and 50MAX

In Uncategorized2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 17, 2016

Following Monday‘s earthquake and the closure of State Highway 1 because of slips and damage to the highway, the New Zealand Transport Agency has been fielding calls from operators asking about freight vehicle access through Lewis Pass (State Highway 7).

NZTA has announced that the following vehicles can travel on SH7:

  •       All permitted 50MAX vehicles
  •       All vehicles that are HPMV-permitted for travel on State Highway 1
  •       Area overweight-permitted vehicles carrying machinery

These vehicles must travel on SH7 to Springs Junction, on SH65 to Murchison and SH6 to Nelson or turn off at Kawatiri onto SH63 to Renwick, onto SH6 and into Rapaura Road (SH62) to join SH1 to Picton at Spring Creek. Freight vehicles are asked to not travel via SH6 through Woodbourne and into Blenheim to join SH1.

The NZTA has put in place a number of speed restrictions and restricted access to single-lane across some bridges to enable the route to be opened up to full HPMV following the earthquake and closure of SH1. They say it is critical that everyone observes the various traffic management restrictions in place.

With higher volumes of traffic and route restrictions on SH7, motorists are asked to take extra care, be patient and courteous when travelling along the route, and allow extra time for their journey. Average journey times between Christchurch and Picton are currently expected to take seven and a half hours.

NZTA is currently working on the logistics of over-dimension vehicle use of SH7 and will advise operators of any further changes.

If you have any specific queries regarding route access, please contact the Permitting team on 0800 699 000 or email