Motorists in the lower South Island are being advised to take extra care on the roads in light of heavy snow and wintry conditions.

Chains are essential on Lindis Pass and SH85, between Kyeburn and Palmerston (known as the 'Pig Route'), where it is snowing heavily.

Several vehicles have already had to be pulled free after getting stuck in the snow on SH85.

Chains are also recommended on SH83 between Otematata and Kurow, where there is already 15mm of snow on the road and it is still snowing heavily.

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More generally, motorists are reminded to assess local road conditions before travelling and, if they do need to drive, to drive to the conditions.