Proposed safer speed limit for SH5 Waiotapu – formal consultation now open


As part of the Safe Network Programme, the NZ Transport Agency is currently identifying highways where lower speed limits could help save lives and reduce serious crashes and where communities want change.

After hearing locals’ concerns about speed at Waiotapu on State Highway 5 (SH5), the Transport Agency is proposing to reduce the speed limit through the settlement.

Acting Director of Regional Relationships Ross I’Anson says there were 20 crashes at Waiotapu between 2009 and 2018 and five people were seriously injured.

“We know that even a small reduction in speed can make a big difference, so we are proposing to reduce the current 100km/h speed limit to 80km/h,” says Mr I’Anson.

The public are invited to make a submission on the proposal to change the speed limit, before 25 October 2019.

“Situated on the Thermal Explorer Highway (SH5), Waiotapu is a busy area with several businesses and intersections leading to tourist destinations. There’s limited space for traffic to turn and the current road layout makes it hard for drivers to see what’s ahead.

“Reducing the speed limit on the short stretch through the settlement is a relatively simple way to make this area safer, without impacting travel times significantly.” 

The Transport Agency is also making SH5 between Wairakei and SH38 safer with improvements such as roadside safety barriers, rumble strips and wide centrelines. Work is already underway on the northern section of the route at Waiotapu.

Mr I’Anson says these safety improvements, along with a safe and appropriate speed limit, will help prevent further crashes at Waiotapu. 

The formal consultation period runs from 30 September to 25 October 2019.

To find out more and make a formal submission, visit: link)

What’s proposed?



SH5 Waiotapu

Existing 100km/h reduced to 80km/h from 551m north-east of Waikite Valley Road to 369m southwest of Waiotapu Loop Road, a stretch of 977m through the settlement of Waiotapu.

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