The NZ Transport Agency last year advised that changes to speed limits were going in place on the new Picton to Christchurch alternate highway, in the aftermath of the Kaikoura earthquake.
The changes reflected the needs for safer speeds in some areas of the new route and the huge increase in traffic volumes, particularly freight traffic, along the route – state highways 7, 65, 6 and 63.
The emergency legislation covering these new safe speed rules ran for 90 days. As of this week, it has now been rolled over for a further 90 days, pending further consultation for this busy state highway route.
There are some sites where feedback from Police, councils, the Transport Agency’s own safety team and the community has indicated the emergency limits were not appropriate for the road environment. The Transport Agency had the opportunity to make some limited changes when extending the current emergency rule.
These changes were:
As well as the continuation of the safe speeds emergency rule over much of this route, the Government is also investing $60 million in upgrading(external link) parts of the route to make it safer and more resilient. This includes widening several sections of road, ongoing resealing work along the route, installing several new bailey bridges alongside existing one-way bridges, installing traffic signals at one-way bridges, and using radars and webcams to measure traffic volumes and provide travel updates.