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Hamilton City SH1, SH3 and SH26 new permanent speed limits

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Project introduction

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has set new permanent speed limits on State Highways 1, 3 and 26 from 10 December 2021.

  • Project type

    Speed review

Project updates

Safer speed limits for Hamilton highways
Media release,

Background

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency consulted with the public and stakeholders on the safe and appropriate speed for State Highways 1, 3 and 26 in Hamilton in August 2020. The speed review encompassed 16km of mainly urban State Highway, providing access to and through Hamilton City to the west, south and east.

Many people raised concerns that the current speed limits on feel too high for an urban environment that includes people walking, biking and scootering.

The best thing we can do to prevent people from dying or being seriously injured is to ensure speed limits are safe and right for the road, especially on these high-volume state highways where pedestrians and cyclists mix with general traffic. 

Permanent speed limits

Waka Kotahi has reviewed what the safe and appropriate speeds should be and the legal process to change the speed limits will be completed on 10 December. We are however experiencing delays with securing and installing signage due to Covid restrictions, and the signs will be installed as soon as possible following this date. Once the signs are installed, drivers will be required to comply with the new speed limits.

These are the details of the new permanent speed limits:

State highway

SH1, SH3 and SH26, Hamilton City

Existing speed limit

New speed limit

SH1

From 180m north west of the centre of the Crawford Street / Avalon Drive / SH1 Roundabout to 250m north of Rifle Range Road (existing speed limit change point)

80km/h

60km/h

SH1

From 150m south of Killarney Road (existing speed limit change point) to 70m north of Kahikatea Drive (SH1) (existing speed limit change point)

80km/h

60km/h

SH1

From 41m east of Alison St (proposed new speed limit change point) to 70m north-east of Lorne Street (existing speed limit change point)

60km/h

50km/h

SH3

From the Kahikatea Drive intersection (existing speed limit change point) to 25m south-east of Resthill Crescent (existing speed limit)

60km/h

50km/h

SH3

On Normandy Avenue (SH3) from SH1, Lorne Street (existing speed limit change point) to SH3 Ohaupo Road (existing speed limit change point)

60km/h

50km/h

SH1

From 70m north-east of Lorne Street (existing speed limit change point) to 190m west of Howell Avenue (existing speed limit change point)

80km/h

60km/h

SH1

From 190m west of Howell Avenue (existing speed limit change point) to 70m south of Riverlea Road (existing speed limit change point)

60km/h

50km/h

SH26

On Morrinsville Road (SH26) from SH1 (existing speed limit change point) to 260m north-east of Berkley Avenue (existing speed limit change point)

60km/h

50km/h

SH26

Berkley School VSL

105m north east of Cambridge Road to30m south west of Berkley Avenue

60/40km/h

50/40km/h

SH3

From 25m south-east of Resthill Crescent (existing speed limit change point) to 265m south of the centre of the new SH3 Ohaupo Road / Southern Links roundabout (new speed limit change point)

70km/h

60km/h

SH3

From 265m south of the centre of the new SH3 Ohaupo Road / Southern Links roundabout (new speed limit change point) to 340m north of Rukuhia Road (existing speed limit change point)

100km/h

80km/h

SH3

Intersection Speed Zone Ohaupo Road (SH3)/Raynes Road

Expected to be implemented mid 2022

100km/h

80/60km/h

New permanent speed limits map

View larger map [PDF, 273 KB]

Investigation and evidence

When determining the proposed speed limits that we consulted on, we reviewed the speeds that people are currently driving on this road, as well as the road itself.

Feedback received included suggestions Avalon Drive speed limits should not change. The option of retaining a higher than calculated speed limit was carefully considered for this section. The final decision came down to the risk of a head-on crash at 80km/h or above often being un-survivable. At present there is no opportunity to install any physical median treatments or widening as it would require widening of the Forest Lake overbridge and the road itself. When travelling south the first (Crawford St) roundabout reduces speeds significantly. Following that, the road changes character, loses both median separation and multiple lanes. A 60km/h limit between the two roundabouts provides the transition to a consistent urban speed limit through the city.

There was considerable feedback on the need for safety improvements to be made at the intersection between Raynes Road and SH3/ Ohaupo Road. People said they didn’t feel safe pulling out of Raynes Road onto SH3.  The new speed limit through this section of SH3 will be 80km/h and an intersection speed zone (ISZ) will be put in. This ISZ is expected to be completed in mid-2022, and it will mean the speed limit will temporarily reduce to 60km/h when the electronic signs detect someone turning in or out of Raynes Road.”

Evidence shows intersection speed zones are effective at reducing through traffic speeds and subsequently improving road user safety. A study of the first 10 Intersection Speed Zones trialled in New Zealand found that the fatal and serious crash rate reduced by 79 percent and the overall crash rate reduced by 51 percent.

Planning is also underway to upgrade the T-intersection at the Raynes Road/SH1 intersection to a roundabout to further improve safety. Waka Kotahi is currently undertaking the feasibility study, and it is hoped this can then move on to construction within the next one to two years. The ISZ will remain in place until the roundabout is fully operational.

Crash history

Between 2009 and 2018 there were 1311 reported crashes along this route with 10 people killed and 61 seriously injured.

Lower permanent speed limits are needed to reduce the number of crashes and resulting deaths and serious injuries.

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about SH1, 3 and 26 in Hamilton city permanent speed limits by reading the frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions

Consultation and submissions

Across the four-week consultation period ending 21 August 2020 there were 91 submissions were received.  We also received submissions from Hamilton City Council and the Waikato District NZ Automotive Association (AA). Both expressed some support for the speed reviews but detailed changes or conditions they would like Waka Kotahi to consider when making the final decision.

All submissions can be viewed on these links: 

How speed reviews work

More information about speed and the speed review process is available on the Speed Review Programme webpage.

Speed Review Programme