NSW residents told to avoid ‘non-essential travel’

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If you’re in many parts of New South Wales or Victoria and you’re thinking about driving somewhere today, you’re advised to think again.

NSW residents have been told to avoid “non-essential travel” today as major roads could close across the state. A number of closures are already in place due to bushfire danger.

It’s unclear at this point just how many roads are closed, but Live Traffic NSW’s live map shows a sea of incidents and road closures stretching the length of the coast.

And, new closures are occurring all the time.

As residents gear up for New Year’s Eve celebrations, it’s feared the Princes Highway between Nowra and Batemans Bay on the state’s South Coast may close at any time due to the current fire conditions.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area. But, in general, Live Traffic NSW says you should avoid “non-essential travel” altogether.

“If you can’t delay your trip, keep checking the latest conditions and be prepared for road closures at short notice,” the service posted on Twitter.

“Take extreme care and follow emergency services’ directions.”

Victoria is also being badly hit with bushfires today and dozens of roads are closed across the state.

Due to the fires in East Gippsland, the Princes Highway is closed between Bairnsdale and Genoa.

The fire has also crossed Great Alpine Road at Ensay, with people in the area warned mobile and landline phone coverage could be affected.

For the latest on the bushfires, follow our blog.

Meanwhile, there also road closures in Melbourne CBD today ahead of the New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Parts of the CBD, East Melbourne and Southbank will shut down to make way for pedestrians, including Flinders Street, Collins Street, St Kilda Road, Batman Ave and Wellington Parade.

Most road closures begin at 6pm Monday 31 December, with all roads reopening by 3am Tuesday.

“With the huge crowds expected, we suggest people travelling to the city use public transport where possible,” a VicRoads spokesman said.

The same goes for Sydney’s CBD, with road closures planned as tens of thousands of revellers descend on the city.

From 2pm, roads in The Rocks and Circular Quay will be closed. From 7pm, major roads north of Liverpool Street will be shut.

From 8.30pm to 9.30pm and 11.30pm to 1.30am Anzac Bridge and Western Distributor (citybound direction only) will be closed.

By 11pm city is locked down, with all roads north of Goulburn Street closed.

And, from 11pm to 1.30am the Sydney Harbour Bridge will be closed.

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