29 November 2017
InterCity will reintroduce services north of Kaikōura soon after the NZ Transport Agency reopens the coastal highway.
State Highway 1 (SH1) north of Kaikōura will reopen to traffic on Friday 15 December, restoring the vital Picton to Christchurch link.
The road was closed after it suffered damage in the Kaikōura earthquake on 14 November 2016.
InterCity will operate morning and afternoon services in both directions between Picton and Christchurch from 18 December.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to resume services in this special part of the South Island,” says Sam Peate, InterCity Group General Manager, NZ Coachlines and Auckland Tourism.
“Keeping Kaikoura connected during the road closure has been very important for us and it’s great that the town [will soon be] accessible from the north as well.”
Peate says the services resuming from December 18 will allow InterCity passengers to travel from Picton to Dunedin in one day.
Ongoing roadworks and stop/go signs on SH1 will affect travel times and timetables have been adjusted to reflect this.
Some smaller suburban stops in Christchurch have also been temporarily removed to ensure services run on time.
NZ Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery Manager Tim Crow says the reopening of SH1 for daytime travel (from 7am to 8pm) will give people two viable options for moving around the upper South Island, with the alternate route remaining a reliable option.
The alternative route is via State Highways 63, 6, 65 and 7 through Lewis Pass.
Crow says travellers should check the dedicated travel information page set up by the NZ Transport Agency before travel, which will be updated regularly with more information.
Peate says InterCity will continue to review its timetables and stops as travel times along SH1 improve.
For full details visit www.intercity.co.nz.