From October to November 2019, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency consulted on a safe and appropriate speed limit on SH1 at Rosebank on the northern entrance into Balclutha in South Otago, on what is the main road freight route between Dunedin and Invercargill.
Our consultation showed community and stakeholder support for an 80km/h speed limit on this 450m section of highway with a current speed limit of 100km/h. Over half the consultation feedback reflected demand for a speed reduction. This is to address the increased safety risks stemming from the new Rosebank industrial park adjacent to the highway which is leading to more vehicles turning on and off SH1 in this area. Several submitters felt the current 100km/h speed limit is too fast for a highway travelling past an industrial park and a heavy vehicle weighbridge.
The mean average speed where we proposed an 80km/h limit, is 85-89km/h. This suggests drivers see the existing 100km/h limit as too high and are slowing down. In 2018, the average daily vehicle count on this section of highway was 3,650 vehicles a day – up 12 percent on four years earlier.
Permanent speed limits
During consultation, we proposed extending the current 80km/h speed limit on SH1 from where it currently ends near McKay Road, 450m further south, to just past the Rosebank industrial park. This 80km/h speed limit will be the new permanent highway speed limit from Friday, 4 December 2020.
Map of new permanent speed limits
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Investigation and evidence
We considered several factors while determining the new speed limit we would consult on. These included the current average highway vehicle speed, the number and types of vehicles using the highway, pedestrian safety, driver behaviour and access on to the highway from driveways and side roads. There was also input from a range of technical and stakeholder experts.
Some submitters had mixed feelings about this speed change. While supporting a safer speed, some felt that the 80km/h limit should be extended further along SH1, others preferred implementing even lower limits than the 80km/h speed limit we consulted on. Extending the speed management further south was considered but we opted against this due to a nearby northbound highway passing lane.
Between 2009 and 2018 there were six crashes on this section of highway, one serious injury and two minor injuries.
The new permanent speed limit over this 450m section of highway should add less than 15 seconds to the travel time of drivers.
Find out more about the SH1 Balclutha permanent speed limit by reading the frequently asked questions.
Frequently asked questions
Consultation and submissions
Public consultation on this speed review closed on 29 November 2019.
61 submissions were received during the consultation period from stakeholder organisations and public.