SH56 Longburn village and Longburn to Palmerston North speed review

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Project Introduction

We’re reviewing speed limits on State Highway 56 (SH56) through Longburn village and between Longburn and Palmerston North.

  • Estimated project dates

    Jul 2023–Aug 2023
  • Project type

    Speed review

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Community consultation

The consultation closed on 21 August 2023. We are now considering the submissions received.


We all deserve a transport system that puts people at the centre – that protects and helps us to get to the places and people important to us, so we can live life to the full.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is committed to helping people feel safe on our roads, and in our towns, whether they’re walking, cycling, driving, motorcycling or using public transport.

Ensuring speed limits are safe and appropriate is key to achieving this.

Last year we asked people to share their views on speeds on SH56 between Palmerston North and Ōpiki.

SH56 Palmerston North to Ōpiki speed review

Many people told us they thought current speeds through Longburn village felt too high due to the number of houses and community venues in the area. People also felt the current 100km/h speed limit between Longburn and Palmerston North was too fast, considering the high volumes of traffic travelling the route.

SH56 Palmerston North to Ōpiki speed review engagement summary report - June-July 2022 [PDF, 883 KB]

Since 2013 there have been 61 recorded crashes on SH56 from Ngaire Street South on the south side of Longburn to the Mangaone Stream Bridge at Pioneer Highway. Four people died and six were seriously injured in crashes on this stretch.

To help keep everyone safe and support future residential growth, we’re proposing new safer speed limits through Longburn village and between Longburn and Palmerston North.

What we're proposing

The following permanent speed limits are being proposed:


Description of location 

Current speed limit

Proposed new speed limit

SH56 Longburn village

South of Ngaire Street South to northeast of Reserve Road.



SH56 Longburn to Palmerston North


Northeast of Reserve Road to southwest of Maxwells Line.



What happens next?

We’ll consider all feedback received as part of the engagement and consultation process and review it alongside the safety assessment before making a final decision. Some of the factors which we can consider include where the new speed limit will start and finish, and any additional signage.

We will inform the community and stakeholders of the decision and publish the details on our website before implementing any new speed limits on these sections of highway.

A new approach to managing speeds

To put people, and the diverse ways we use our roads and streets at the heart of how we plan and maintain our transport system, the way we manage speeds has changed.

As a road controlling authority (RCA), Waka Kotahi is responsible for setting new speed limits on New Zealand’s state highways. A new Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 came into effect in May 2022, requiring RCAs to develop speed management plans with a whole-of-network approach every three years, aligning with the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) cycle.

As this legislation took effect during the current 2021-24 NLTP period, Waka Kotahi took a step towards the new approach by developing an Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan (ISMP) which includes remaining speed-related activities within the current NLTP. A 30km/h variable speed zone was proposed for Longburn School in the ISMP.

Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan for Manawatū – Whanganui

We are consulting on proposed new speed limits between Longburn and Palmerston North ahead of the development of the 2024 -2027 State Highway Speed Management plan as we’ve heard that the community and stakeholders are keen to see safer speed limits on these sections of SH56 as soon as possible.

Changes to speed limits on other sections of SH56 between Palmerston North and Ōpiki will be considered when we develop the full State Highway Speed Management Plan.

Find out more about how we are managing speeds:

Safe and appropriate speed limits