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Frustrated police send clear message

Police will be increasing checkpoints due to a surge of motorists trying to travel to Wellington and across the Wairarapa. PHOTO/FILE

“Level 3 is not level free”.

That’s the message Wairarapa police want people to remember after encountering a heavy rise in motorists trying to make their way over the hill to Wellington, and other parts of Wairarapa since alert levels dropped on Wednesday.

More people have been seen out and about across New Zealand roads under the belief there is much more freedom to travel under level 3.

However, Wairarapa Police Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said that was not the case, and people should still be at home despite the slight ease in restrictions.

“There are lots of people out on the road like it’s a normal day in level 1, looking at it like we have more freedom. But people have to remember that we’re still in level 3 lockdown so essential travel only,” he said.

“Yes, there is some more freedom with options to go out and play golf and go to the beach, but it still has to be within your community.”

Miller said police would be ramping up check points right across the Wellington district particularly for the next five days.

Even with more checkpoints in place, motorists trying to sneak over the hill will find the task even more difficult with five days of road closures coming up.

New Zealand Transport Agency will be closing State Highway 2 Remutaka Hill Rd from Sunday, September 5. to Friday, September 10, [9pm to 4am] for essential maintenance work.

The five-night overnight closure is the first of several planned closures from September to July 2022.

Access will be available for emergency services throughout the closure, as well as an escorted vehicle service for people with essential travel needs.

To book, please email [email protected]

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