Safer speed limits on the way for SH1 north of Auckland


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency would like to thank the public for their input into creating a safer roading network between L Phillips Road and Pūhoi, which will become an alternative route to SH1 once the new Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway is completed.

Between May and June last year Waka Kotahi consulted the local community, iwi and road user groups on speed limit changes, in an effort to find out what would help save lives, prevent serious injuries and reduce the number of crashes on this stretch of State Highway 1 (SH1).

“We know this is a particularly high risk stretch of road. There are tight and difficult corners along parts of the route as well as very narrow shoulders and poor visibility. Between 2010 and 2019, 10 people were killed and 47 seriously injured in crashes,” says Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton.

As part of our commitment under New Zealand’s road safety strategy Road to Zero to delivering safety improvements across New Zealand, Waka Kotahi is already making SH1 between Wellsford and Warkworth safer with safety improvements through Dome Valley. These include installing flexible wire safety barriers, widening the existing road, reshaping embankments, and building right-turn bays at L Phillips Road and Top of Dome Valley rest area.

In addition to this and following our extensive consultation, there will now be new speed limits on SH1 between L Phillips Road (near Sheepworld) and Pūhoi to ensure the speeds are safe and appropriate for this road. A breakdown of the changes can be found in the table below and on the map attached.

“The insights from everyone who provided a submission or feedback on the proposal helped us in our technical review and as a result we have been able to make an informed decision on these speed limit changes,” says Mr Mutton.

“Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it’s what will most likely determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed from that crash.”

The new speed limits will come into effect from June 14 but will be implemented in two phases to align with the expected opening of Matakana Link Road (Auckland Transport) and the new Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth in mid-2022.

The motorway will extend the four-lane Northern Motorway (SH1) 18.5km from the Johnstones Hill tunnels to just north of Warkworth. It will connect to the Northern Gateway section of SH1 south of the Johnstones Hills Tunnels.

Ara Tūhono will vastly improve the safety, connectivity and resilience of the network between Northland and Auckland, helping to boost the economic potential of the Northland region.

If the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway is tolled, people can choose to travel on the existing State Highway 1 instead which will be maintained as a free, safe alternative route.

Over 23,000 vehicles currently travel the route each day, with vehicle numbers increasing Along with the devasting effect on families and communities, crashes on this route can cause extensive delays and long detours if there are road closures.

About Road to Zero

Road to Zero, New Zealand’s road safety strategy, sets out the goal of reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by 40 percent by 2030.

This is the first step towards Vision Zero – a New Zealand where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Reaching that initial target would mean fewer than 230 people killed on our roads, and reducing the number of people seriously injured on our roads to less than 1,700 by 2030.

Last year 318 people were killed and more than 2,500 were seriously injured on New Zealand roads.

More information on the permanent speed limits and our consultation summary, including submissions can be found on our website.

SH1 L Phillips Road to Pūhoi permanent speed limits

New speed limits for SH1 L Phillips Rd to Pūhoi from 14 June 2021

  • Phase One – new speed limits will come into force on 14 June 2021, as set out in the table above.
  • Phase Two – (after construction of roundabout around mid-2022) the speed limit will be further reduced to 60km/h from 200m north of Kaipara Flats Road to 365m north of Hudson Rd. We will notify people of this phase two speed limit change at that time.
Location Existing speed limit New speed limit from 14 June 2021

SH1 North of Warkworth

An extension of the 80km/h speed zone (that begins at Wayby Valley Rd) from 180m south of L Phillips Road to 365m north of Hudson Rd, the start of the current 60km/h at the north end of Warkworth.

NB– The Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway is constructing a new roundabout near the intersection of SH1/Hudson Road, which will be operating under a temporary traffic management speed of 60km/h until complete.

100km/h 80km/h

SH1 South of Warkworth

From 60m south of McKinney Road, the end of the 60km/h at the south end of Warkworth, to 350m north of Pūhoi Road, the current 80km/h change point for the start of Johnstone’s Hill Tunnel.

100km/h 80km/h

SH1 South of Warkworth

From 285m south of Perry Road to 715m south of Perry Road, locations are the same as currently installed.

Variable 70km/h when a vehicle is turning at the construction site. 100km/h at all other times. Variable 60km/h when a vehicle is turning at the construction site and 80km/h at all other times.

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