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Why did you have to set a new speed limit?

There were several safety issues with the state highway in this location, these had also been raised by the community. They included:

  • Increasing traffic volumes and vehicle speeds.
  • Managing more highway traffic travelling through a town that’s growing in size.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists being put at risk from vehicles coming into the township at high speed and not seeing elderly pedestrians and children in the area.
  • Many residents must cross the highway to reach businesses and facilities such as the post office boxes at the local dairy.
  • Challenging for drivers to access the highway from side roads and car parks on the side of the road, because its hard to judge the speed of approaching vehicles.

What is the new permanent speed limit?

  • 50km/h

SH1 Waihola speed review map

How were those limits decided?

The speed review process involves numerous steps that help determine the speed limits we propose at consultation.

The first step is completing a technical assessment. This considers the road itself, the amount of traffic, the crash history, and the way people are currently travelling on the roads.

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

How did the consultation process work?

During consultation we asked the community and road users for submissions on any external factors we may need to be aware of. The consultation period ran for a minimum of four weeks. Once consultation closed, we analysed the submissions and reviewed our technical assessment.

The consultation process 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 report
Speed review process

What laws and regulations govern speed limit setting?

Setting new speed limits is a legal process, and Waka Kotahi as a Road Controlling Authority (RCA) is responsible for setting new speed limits on New Zealand’s state highways. 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.

We also need to adhere to 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. 

Speed Management Guide
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 limits take effect on Monday, 5 October 2020.

The public will be notified of the new permanent speed limits through the newspaper, on the radio, on the Waka Kotahi website, and on social media.

How many crashes have happened on the route?

There have been 10 crashes on this stretch of road in the last ten years with one person seriously injured.

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

Will lower speed limits help reduce the number of crashes?

The new permanent speed limits will help reduce crashes on this section of SH1 and the amount of time the road is closed due to crashes, reducing inconvenience to drivers.

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 the 1km route, the travel time will only increase by approximately 8 seconds. 

Did you consult with the public on these changes?

Yes, in September and October 2020 we consulted with the public on this proposed permanent speed limit. We received 158 submissions. You can read our consultation summary and view the submissions:

Consultation summary report [PDF, 1.6 MB]
Consultation submissions [PDF, 2.3 MB]