We talked to the community, council, the local police, road user groups and local businesses about making this stretch of road safer and they raised concerns that current speeds felt too high to be safe.
Two people died and 14 people were seriously injured in crashes on these roads between 2009 and 2018.
Lower permanent speed limits were needed to reduce the number of crashes and resulting deaths and serious injuries.
What are the new permanent speed limits?
SH11 Puketona to Paihia
|Previous speed limits||New speed limits (from 24 August 2020)|
SH11 Paihia to Haruru
- from 330m southwest of Te Kemara Ave, Paihia to 140m east of Ash Grove Circle, Haruru
SH11 Haruru Falls Village
- from 140m east of Ash Grove Circle to 135m west
SH11 Haruru to Puketona
- from 135m west of Nautical Drive to the junction
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 which takes into account the road itself, the traffic volumes, the crash history, and the way 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. The feedback we received from engagement helped to determine if and what we will formally consult on for proposed speed limit changes.
During consultation we asked the community and others for submissions on any external factors we may need to be aware of. The consultation period ran for six weeks. Once consultation closed, we analysed the submissions and reviewed 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 in our decisions.
For more information about how we reached these decisions, read our consultation summary report.
Setting new speed limits is a legal process, and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency 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.
When did the speed limit changes come into effect and how were the public notified?
The new speed limits took effect on Monday 24 August 2020.
The public was notified of the new permanent speed limits on the Waka Kotahi website, through local advertising, on social media and via new speed limit signs.
How many crashes have happened on the route?
There were 102 crashes on this stretch of road in the ten years from 2009 to 2018. Two people died and 14 people were seriously injured.
A small change in speed makes a big difference, especially when cyclists or pedestrians are involved. Most crashes are caused by a number 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.
What will lowering the speed limit really do?
Less speed means less harm. A small change in speed makes a big difference. Speed affects both the likelihood of a crash, and the severity of it. Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed or injured or walks away unharmed. Fewer crashes will also reduce the amount of time the road is closed due to crashes and reduce inconvenience to drivers.
Won’t the new lower speed limits mean the trip will take a lot longer?
The new permanent speed limits have a minimal impact on travel times. Over the 12.25km route from Puketona to Paihia, the increase in travel time is approximately 12 seconds.
Did you consult with the public on these changes?
Yes. From October to December 2019 we formally consulted with the public on proposed new permanent speed limits. We received 283 submissions across the three proposed speed limit changes from stakeholder organisations and the public.
What is happening with safety and other improvements in this area, and in surrounding areas?
Waka Kotahi completed seven business cases across the Twin Coast Discovery Route to address a number of challenges including safety, limited off-road cycle facilities, and conflict between different road users – freight, local, coaches, cyclists. On the SH1 Kawakawa to Puketona corridor the business case recommended a programme of work to improve safety, access and connectivity along the corridor through building physical infrastructure and implementing services to improve travel choice.