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SH35 Gisborne to Te Puia Springs open roads speed review

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Project introduction

We’re seeking feedback from communities about safe and appropriate speeds for the open road between Gisborne and Te Puia Springs. We’ll use the feedback provided to recommend what speed limits are best for this road and then formally consult with you.

  • Estimated project dates

    Nov 2019–Dec 2020
  • Project type

    Speed review

Project updates

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What we know

We know there is an issue with current speed limits on State Highway 35, particularly in certain sections of the route. Technical safety assessments have found most parts of the corridor do not have a safe and appropriate speed limit.

There are tight and difficult corners along parts of the route, and the road is built on challenging, highly erodible geology that is constantly moving.

There are many different users on this stretch of state highway, including regular commuters, heavy vehicle operators, tourists wanting to take in the scenery and cyclists.

State Highway 35 is in the country’s top 10 percent for deaths and serious injuries. Between 2009 and July 2019 there were 377 crashes between Gisborne and Te Puia Springs, with nine people killed and 46 people seriously injured.

Speed limits need to reflect the risk on a road: speed increases both the likelihood of crashes and the severity of crash outcomes, regardless of what causes a crash. A small change in speed makes a big difference.

We’re reviewing speed for the entire State Highway 35 corridor. This includes townships, and open/rural roads. We’re currently running a consultation on our proposal to reduce speed limits around townships between Gisborne and Te Puia Springs, though we also want to know what you think about speed limits on the rest of the corridor. Right now we’re seeking feedback about safe speeds for the road from Gisborne to Te Puia Springs, which will be followed by the road from Te Puia Springs to Ōpōtiki in 2020.

Download the information sheet [PDF, 1.4 MB]

How speed reviews work