During October and November 2019 Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency consulted on a safe and appropriate speed limit on SH6 through Luggate, a small but fast-growing community 15km east of Wanaka.
Wanaka property is among the most expensive in the country making housing affordability a major issue. This is forcing many out of Wanaka to more affordable nearby areas. These include Luggate where there is a surge in residential developments, with this activity contributing to increasing traffic volumes on SH6 through the town including more large trucks. In 2018 the average daily vehicle count was 2,600 a day up 40% on 2014.
Highway speeds through Luggate have concerned locals and Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) for several years. Currently there is a mix of 70km/h and 50km/h highway speed limits in the town. In October and November 2019 Waka Kotahi publicly consulted on a 50km/h limit to replace the 70km/h limit, on a 450m section of highway on the northern approach into Luggate and a 350m section at the southern entrance to the town.
Ahead of formal consultation on this proposal in we met with community representatives. All gave unanimous support to our proposal. They felt it would help address the safety risks posed by the current mix of 50km/h and 70km/h limits, especially with many more young families living in the town’s new residential developments.
Waka Kotahi is committed to making this highway safer for everyone, so they get to where they are going safely. The best option for achieving this for section of highway was to review the existing highway speed limit.
Permanent speed limits
During consultation we proposed a 50km/h limit to replace the 70km/h limit from 160m north of Church Road to 300m south of Church Street, and from 110m south of Hopkins Street to 430m south of Hopkins Street. This will now be the new permanent speed limit from Friday, 13 November 2020.
Map of new speed limits
Investigation and evidence
Several factors were considered when we determined the new speed limit we would consult on. These included the current average highway vehicle speed (between 60-64km/h), the number of large trucks using this section of highway, pedestrian safety and driver behaviour. There was also input from a range of technical and stakeholder experts.
We considered changing the highway speed limit through Luggate to 60km/h. However, this was unacceptable to the community and the decision was made on 50km/h as the safe and appropriate speed limit. This is consistent with Waka Kotahi’s approach to highway speed limits through rural townships. There is overwhelming support for the proposed speed limit within the local community, and all stakeholders reflecting the high sustained historical demand for a lower highway speed limit through Luggate.
There was broad community support for further speed reductions beyond the existing township to encompass planned and future residential developments. Because of the largely rural environment in these areas, it wouldn’t for many drivers, look and feel like a low speed environment, making driver compliance a real issue.
The speed review established that the safe and appropriate highway speed limit for Luggate is 50km/h for the whole township.
From 2009 to 2018 there have been eight crashes on SH6 through Luggate six of them since 2014.
The new permanent speed limit will have minimal impact on travel times. Over the 800m length of SH6 where the new speed limit applies, the extra travel time for drivers will be 10-12 seconds.
Frequently asked questions
Find out more about the SH6 Luggate permanent speed limit by reading the frequently asked questions.
Frequently asked questions
Consultation and submissions
Public consultation closed on 15 November 2019.
60 submissions were received during the consultation period from stakeholder organisations and public.