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Next steps toward safer journeys on SH5 and SH51

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is currently considering feedback received from the public during consultation and engagement on proposed speed limit changes for State Highways 5 and 51 in Hawke’s Bay.

The public was formally consulted on proposed speed limit changes for State Highway 5 (SH5) between Rangitaiki and Esk Valley, and for State Highway 51 (SH51) between Marine Parade and Waipatu.

At the same time, people were also asked to provide feedback about current speeds on two other sections of SH5 – from Esk Valley to the SH5 turn-off, and from Tāupo to the Rangitaiki Straights.

“Our vision is an Aotearoa where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. Everyone using our roads should be able to get to where they’re going safely,” Director of Regional Relationships Linda Stewart says.

“To help us achieve our vision, we need to create a safe transport system that recognises that people make mistakes and is designed so that these mistakes don’t need to cost lives. This requires a mix of solutions that work together to keep people safe, including safer speed limits and safety improvements.

“That’s why, alongside our continued work on safety improvements, we are proposing to lower speed limits on SH5 and SH51.

“We know this has generated a lot of interest from the community and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide their feedback on our proposals,” Ms Stewart says.

“We’ve gathered valuable local knowledge about how people use the roads and their concerns and we will take this into consideration, alongside our technical assessment of the roads, when making our final decisions.”

Since the end of the consultation and engagement period on 6 June 2021, Waka Kotahi has been analysing the submissions for both SH5 and SH51. In total, just under 1800 separate submissions were received for SH5 and around 300 separate submissions were received for SH51, via our webpage, emails, post and in-person.

“It has taken some time to extract, categorise and review the submissions from the various channels in which they were made, and now we are in the process of carefully analysing the feedback and also finalising the technical assessments,” Ms Stewart says.

“Should our final decision be to proceed with speed limit changes on these state highways, we expect to introduce any changes by the end of this year. The community will be informed well in advance if any speed changes are to be introduced.”

In the meantime, Waka Kotahi has completed work on a $2.5 million package of safety infrastructure improvements for SH5, including side barriers, road markings and rumble lines.

Pending funding confirmation, Waka Kotahi also hopes to implement further infrastructure improvements as part of a business case for SH5, which may include median barriers, side barriers, wide centrelines and intersection improvements.

The infrastructure improvements that have been completed, or are planned, will complement the proposed speed limit changes and make SH5 safer for everyone who uses it.

SH5/SH51 Hawke’s Bay speed review

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