Safer speeds for SH35 coming into effect this week


New safer speed limits for State Highway 35 between Te Puia Springs and Tokomaru Bay will come into effect this Friday 22 October.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency consulted with the community and people who use SH35 regularly in 2019 on proposed new speeds for the beach and township sections of the road between Gisborne and Te Puia Springs.

“Our top priority is to improve safety on our roads so that everyone can get to where they’re going safely,” Director of Regional Relationships Linda Stewart says.

“Even when speed isn’t the direct cause of a crash, it’s always a factor in the severity and can be the difference between a person being killed, seriously injured, or walking away unharmed.”

Between 2010 and 2019, were 20 crashes on this section of SH35. One person lost their life, three people were seriously injured, and another seven received minor injuries.

“During our consultation in 2019, we received feedback that the road between Tokomaru Bay and Te Puia Springs should also be included, and that the Te Puia Springs township speed limit should be reduced further than what was proposed,” Ms Stewart says.

“Every day around 1,100 vehicles travel this road with a mix of regular commuters, tourists, and a large and increasing number of heavy commercial vehicles. It is an important highway for communities and businesses operating in the region.

“While we can’t change the challenging geography that the road traverses, we can make sure the speed limits are safe and appropriate for the road and its environment.”

From 22 October 2021, the new speed limits will be:

Confirmed speed limit changes for State Highway 35 Te Puia Springs to Tokomaru Bay

Location Current speed limit New speed limit
Te Puia Springs Township – from 80m west of Waipiro Road (existing speed limit change) to 180m north-west of Cemetery Road 70km/h 50km/h
Open road section between Puketiti Road and Te Puia Springs – from 180m north-west of Cemetery Road to 350m south of Puketiti Road 70km/h and 100km/h 60km/h
Open road between Tokomaru Bay and Puketiti Road – from 350m south of Puketiti Road to 470m west of Beach Road (Wharf Road) (existing speed limit change) 100km/h 80km/h

Alongside safer speeds, Waka Kotahi is also undertaking resilience improvements at various sites along SH35.

“We’d like to thank everyone that provided their feedback on the proposed speed limits, as well as Gisborne District Council and Police who we worked closely with throughout the speed review.

“By making the change now, we can help prevent more crashes on this road and reduce the risk of further tragedy.”

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

SH35 Te Puia Springs to Tokomaru Bay speed limits

Safer speeds are a key part of Road to Zero 202030, New Zealand’s road safety strategy, which sets an ambitious target of reducing deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand’s road by 40 per cent by 2030.

Road to Zero – NZ’s road safety strategy

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