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SH1 L Phillips Road to Pūhoi permanent speed limits

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Project introduction

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has set new speed limits on SH1 between L Phillips Road (near Sheepworld) and Pūhoi to ensure the speeds are safe and right for this road.

  • Project type

    Speed review

Project updates

New speed limits

We have reviewed the speed limits on State Highway 1 between L Phillips Road (near Sheepworld) and Pūhoi and set new speed limits which take effect from 14 June 2021.

We will implement the speed limit changes in a two-phase approach to align with the expected completion of the roundabout and link road to the new Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth in mid-2022.

  • Phase One – new speed limits will come into force on 14 June 2021, as set out in the table below. Please note that temporary speed limits in place on sections of this route will still apply.
  • 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. 

New speed limits for SH1 L Phillips Rd to Pūhoi from 14 June 2021 (Phase One) 

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.  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. 


Our vision is a New Zealand where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. We are always looking for ways to improve the safety of our roads, and making speeds safer for all road users is one part of our ‘safe system’ solution to achieve this. This safe system solution is aligned with our road safety strategy, Road to Zero, which sets a target of a 40% reduction in deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Setting safer speed limits is one way we can achieve this target.  

Under our speed management programme we have been identifying the roads where safer speed limits will result in the greatest reduction in deaths and serious injuries as quickly as possible, and where we know communities have been calling for change. SH1 between L Phillips Rd (near Sheepworld) and Pūhoi is one of those roads, and over the last couple of years we have been reviewing the speed limits along that route. 

In October 2019, we talked with the local community, the council, the local police, road user groups and local businesses to understand people’s views on current and proposed speed limits along this corridor.  

The main themes that were raised by the community were about high speeds on this road, poor driver behaviour, possible effects on travel times, and ideas about other safety improvements to this road.  

Community engagement [PDF, 624 KB]

We considered these insights alongside our technical information to propose new speed limits along this route. In May and June last year, we formally consulted with the public on these proposed changes seeking any additional information we should consider before making our decision on any speed limit changes.  

We thank everyone who made a submission on our formal consultation.  

The responses did not identify any further issues that we were not aware of, and we have made our decision to proceed with the speed limit changes that we proposed during consultation.

What we know about this route

  • Over 23,000 vehicles travel the route each day with vehicle numbers increasing. 
  • 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 on this stretch of road. 
  • People have told us that they feel that there is a safety risk on the road at the Mahurangi West Road due to previous crashes here. 

Along with the devastating effect on families and communities, crashes on this route can cause extensive delays and long detours if there are road closures. 

Note: Statistics are correct at the time they were produced.  

Map showing new speed limits from 14 June 2021

View larger image [PDF, 621 KB]

Future development in the area north of Warkworth

When proposing these changes, we have considered the planned infrastructure improvements in the area of SH1 between Hudson Road and Kaipara Flats Road, including the link from the new motorway, Matakana Link Road and Pak ‘n Save supermarket. 

As part of this planned development, we are designing and constructing a roundabout to connect the state highway with the link road to the new motorway.  

We will implement the speed limit changes in a two-phase approach to align with the expected completion of the roundabout and link road to the new Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth in mid-2022.

  • Phase One - new speed limits will come into force on 14 June 2021, as described in the table above. Please note that temporary speed limits in place on sections of this route will still apply.
  • Phase Two – (after construction of the 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 make this further reduction so the speed limit into and out of the roundabout is safer for people driving in this new urban environment where decisions and lane changes will need to be made to enter the new motorway, Warkworth or Matakana link. 

Safety improvements in Dome Valley

As part of our commitment to delivering safety improvements on high risk routes across New Zealand, we are 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 the Dome rest area. 

We have already reduced the permanent speed limit through Dome Valley to 80km/h (in 2008) and the new speed limits that we will implement on 14 June 2021 will extend this 80km/h speed limit south through to the beginning of the 60km/h speed limit north of Warkworth. There are currently temporary speed limits in place through much of this route to keep the road crew safe while they work on the safety improvements. 

SH1 Dome Valley Safety Improvements

Intersection speed zones

There is an Intersection Speed Zone on SH1 at the Pūhoi to Warkworth site access point south of Perry Road.

From 14 June 2021, the variable speed limit at this Intersection Speed Zone will be 60km/h when a vehicle is turning at the construction site. At all other times the speed limit will be 80km/h.

Intersection Speed Zones are electronic signs that detect when someone is turning into or out of a side road and temporarily reduce the legal speed limit on the state highway. They also do this when someone is crossing the state highway from a side road. Intersection Speed Zones are sometimes called rural intersection activated warning signs or RIAWS.

Watch the Youtube video below to learn about how Intersection Speed Zones work.

Intersection Speed Zones(external link) 

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about the SH1 L Phillips Road to Puhoi speed limit changes by reading the frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions

Consultation and submissions

Public consultation on the project was open for four weeks between May and June 2020.

We received 260 submissions from stakeholder organisations and the public.

Related Consultation –  Ara Tūhono - Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway

We are also seeking people’s feedback on a proposal to toll the new Ara Tūhono - Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway which is currently under construction. The section of SH1 between Warkworth south and Pūhoi, where we propose reducing the speed limit from 100km/h to 80km/h in Phase One, will be the alternative free route if the new motorway is tolled.

We want to be clear with people that while these are separate consultations, the proposals will impact the same people using the transport network. Running the consultations in parallel ensures you can understand the full picture of plans for the area and enables you to consider the speed and tolling proposals together to give more informed feedback. 

Tolling consultation for Ara Tūhono - Pūhoi to Warkworth