Project introduction

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is improving safety on State Highway 3 Napier Road from Palmerston North to Ashhurst. We have introduced new permanent speed limits and are planning to make safety improvements to infrastructure between Keith Street and Stoney Creek Road.

  • Project type

    Infrastructure upgrade, Safety improvements

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Palmerston North is experiencing sustained growth in residential and commercial activity, with the area to the east of the city centre, Kelvin Grove, being one of the fastest growing areas. As a result, there are increasing issues related to safety on SH3 Napier Road, and access between suburban and commercial areas locally to other areas in Palmerston North.

The intersections along this stretch of road have a poor safety record. Between 2011-2020, there were three people killed and 80 people injured in crashes on this road. 

Community members have also shared their concerns about being able to use the road safely.

In response to the changing environment around SH3 Napier Road and the resulting road safety issues, we have introduced new permanent speed limits and are planning to make safety improvements to infrastructure between Keith Street and Stoney Creek Road.

In 2022, new permanent speed limits were implemented on the road.

SH3 Napier Road safety improvements are delivering to New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy, Road to Zero 2020 – 2030, which aims to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by 40% by 2030.

Road to Zero – NZ’s road safety strategy

This project is also part of the Palmerston North Integrated Transport Initiative (PNITI), a package of projects designed to support growth of freight distribution in the region while also improving transport safety and choice for the residents and visitors of Palmerston North.

Infrastructure improvements

In early 2022, during consultation on the proposed new safer speed limits, we published the draft concept design for safety improvements to give the community the opportunity to provide their feedback.

Key features of the proposed infrastructure improvements include:

  • traffic signals at the SH3 Napier Road / Roberts Line intersection.
  • improved walking and cycling facilities along SH3 between Keith Street and Roberts Line.
  • pedestrian refuge islands to help cross SH3.
  • a widened centreline from Roberts Line to Stoney Creek Road to create more space between people travelling in opposite directions, reducing the likelihood of centreline crashes in this area.
  • stormwater facilities to better capture and treat water running off the road.

We have been considering the feedback we received on the improvements as we work towards finalising the detailed design.

Construction of the improvements is subject to funding approval.

Engagement summary [PDF, 459 KB]

Map of planned infrastructure improvements along SH3 Napier Road

Map showing location of proposed new traffic lights, shared path, raised safety platforms and pedestrian refuge island along SH3 between Roberts Line and Keith Street.

View larger map [PDF, 7 MB]

Speed review

New permanent speed limits were implemented on State Highway 3 from Palmerston North to Ashhurst in 2022 following consultation with the public and stakeholders.

Safer speed limits and better designed infrastructure on this route will work together to provide the safest and most suitable solution for this corridor.

State Highway 3 Napier Road speed review 

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about the SH3 Napier Road safety improvements by reading the frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions