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Why set a new speed limit?

Our community engagement and consultation supported reducing the speed limit from 100km/h to 80km/h, which Waka Kotahi’s speed review and assessment processes established as the safe and appropriate speed for this section of highway. This reflected the changed environment associated with the development of the Rosebank Industrial park, nearby residential developments and heavy vehicle weigh bridge alongside the highway.

There were several safety issues on the Rosebank section of SH1 into Balclutha, and these had also been raised by the community. They included:

  • Vehicle speeds
  • Safe access onto the highway from driveways and in and out of Rosebank Industrial park
  • Driver behaviour
  • Better signage and more visible road signage
  • Pedestrian safety  
  • Increases in large trucks on this section of highway since the industrial park opened in 2018.

What is the new permanent speed limit?

From 4 December 2020, an 80km/h speed limit will apply from where the current SH1 80km/h speed limit ends near McKay Road, 450m further south to just past the Rosebank industrial park.

View the map [PDF, 88 KB]

How were those limits decided?

There are numerous steps in the speed review process that determine the speed limit we consult on.

The first step is completing a technical assessment which takes into account the road itself, traffic volumes, the crash history, and how people are currently travelling on the roads.

Following the technical assessment, we undertook informal engagement with road user groups, members of the public, councils, AA, road transport associations, and the Police. This feedback helped to determine if and what we will formally consult on for proposed speed limit changes.

During consultation we ask the community and road users for submissions on any external factors we may need to be aware of. The consultation runs for a minimum of four weeks. Once it closes, we analyse the submissions and review our technical assessment.

The consultation for the proposed speed limit changes is not a vote, it is about seeking valuable local and community input so that we can consider wider factors and context into our decisions.

For more information about how we reached these decisions, please read our consultation summary.

Consultation summary [PDF, 1.5 MB]

Speed review process

What rules and regulations need to be considered?

Waka Kotahi as a Road Controlling Authority (RCA) is responsible for setting new speed limits on New Zealand highways.

Setting new speed limits is a legal process, outlined in the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of the RCAs for reviewing and setting speed limits. 

In performing this task, we are guided by the Speed Management Guide, which is a national framework that helps RCAs make informed, accurate and consistent speed management decisions in their communities.

The Speed Management Guide [PDF, 7.4 MB] 

Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017

When do the speed limit changes come into effect and how are the public being notified?

The new speed limit takes effect on Friday, 4 December 2020.

The new permanent speed limit will be widely advertised through the newspaper, on-line and via social media. The public will see the new speed limit signs being installed a few days prior to the new safer speed limit coming into force.

How many crashes have happened on the route?

Between 2009 and 2018 there were six crashes on this section of highway, one serious injury and two minor injuries.

A small change in speed makes a big difference, especially when cyclists or pedestrians are involved. Most crashes are caused by a variety of factors, even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed.

Won’t the new lower speed limits mean the trip will take a lot longer?

The permanent speed limits will have a minimal impact on travel times over what is a short 450 metre section of highway. 

Did you consult with the public on these changes?

Yes. In October/November 2019 we consulted with the public on the proposed permanent speed limits. We received 61 submissions. You can read our consultation summary and view the submissions.