31 May 2015

Major road closures in Christchurch

9:10 pm on 31 May 2015

Major road closures in Christchurch today affected travel in and out of the central city.

More than 5000 people took part in this year's Christchurch Marathon.

More than 5000 people took part in this year's Christchurch Marathon. Photo: RNZ / Georgina Stylianou

Roads in and around Cathedral Square and alongside the Avon River, as well as roads in the residential red zone, were closed for this morning's Christchurch Marathon.

The marathon, which started at 8.30am, has a new route that takes in the re-emerging city centre and the residential red zone in the east.

It attracted more than 5000 entrants, the most since quake damage forced the race to skirt the city in 2011.

Cars were at one point queued from Moorhouse Avenue as far as Blenheim Road.

There was also major congestion around Fitzgerald Avenue, Whitmore Street and London Street and around the intersection between Bealey Avenue, Papanui and Carlton Mill.

The roads reopened before 2pm but a public exclusion zone was then in place from 4pm for the implosion of the former police station, which affected the west side of the city.

The earthquake-damaged tower was brought down at 5pm.

Parts of Cambridge and Oxford Terraces, and parts of Hereford and Cashel Streets were closed until 7pm.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Transport Agency has urged farmers to plan ahead to avoid traffic problems tomorrow on Gypsy Day.

The day is when many dairy herds are moved between farms around the country.

NZTA said, in many cases, stock would be moved along key roads and farmers should try to avoid peak traffic periods.

It said anyone moving stock on Gypsy Day needed a permit and a traffic management plan.

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