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Picton to Christchurch alternate state highway route speed limits consultation

Submissions for this consultation have now closed. 

The NZ Transport Agency consulted in April 2017 on converting a range of temporary lower speed limits introduced under emergency legislation on the alternate route (state highways 63, 6, 65 and 7) after the November 2016 earthquake to permanent limits.

Consulting to make temporary limits permanent was necessary as emergency speed limits can only legally be in place for six months, but SH1 will not be restored until the end of 2017.

Consultation feedback

Key outcomes from the consultation process showed:

  • Almost 300 submissions were received from members of the public, and stakeholders representing communities along the alternate route, motorists, and the freight industry.
  • Public support for permanent lower speed limits through most townships along the alternate route where speeds of 60km/h or 50km/h were proposed.
  • Limited public support for permanent lower speeds on open road sections of the route where speed limits of 80km/h were proposed.
  • General stakeholder support for lower speeds remaining on all existing sites on the alternate route while SH1 is being restored.
  • Several stakeholders requested speed limits be reviewed again once SH1 is fully operational.

Consultation decisions

In light of submissions feedback, in the interests of managing the risks associated with the high volume of vehicles on the alternate route the Transport Agency will make a bylaw that will effectively convert emergency speed limits to permanent speed limits, with some minor adjustments.

However, once SH1 becomes fully operational and traffic volumes have reduced to a stable level speed limits on the alternate route will be reviewed again again.

Full list of decisions:

  1. Remove the Lower Buller Gorge (sites: 12,13,14,15) and and SH7a towards Hanmer (Site 6) from the speed proposals as they are not part of the original emergency legislation and received low support for change.
  2. In the interests of managing road safety risks associated with the high volume of vehicles on the alternate route - make a bylaw that will effectively convert the current emergency speed limits on the remaining sites to permanent speed limits, with some minor adjustments.
  3. Install additional signage at several sites along the alternate route to remind drivers of the posted speeds.
  4. Review speed limits on the alternate state highway route once SH1 becomes fully operational and traffic volumes have reduced to a stable level.
  5. The Transport Agency will investigate whether more slow vehicle bays and pull-over areas could be built on the alternate route, in addition to the 20 sites currently under construction.

Read the media release (external link) on the Picton to Christchurch alternate route state highway speed limits consultation decisions.

Read the summary of submissions report [PDF, 437 KB].

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