Skifields worried after alpine passes rule changes

Broken River ski field. Photo: brokenriver.co.nz
Broken River ski field. Photo: brokenriver.co.nz
Boutique Canterbury skifields are fearing for their future as new rules around snow and limiting access to State Highway 73 take effect.

The new system has been introduced by the NZ Transport Agency for the southern alpine passes, and will limit the movement of cars, even with chains, when there's snow. 

The agency is tightening up on letting motorists cross Porters and Arthur’s passes (both SH73).

State Highway 73. Photo: Ross Land/Getty Images
State Highway 73. Photo: Ross Land/Getty Images
Previously, if conditions allowed, drivers were allowed to use the main road between Christchurch and the West Coast when it snowed as long as they could fit chains.

But this winter, the road would be closed while graders clear the snow and lay down grit, and vehicles would only be allowed to pass once it was safe.

The Porter Heights, Mount Cheeseman, Craigieburn, Temple Basin and Broken River skifields could all be affected by the changes.

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