What are the new permanent speed limits?

The following speed limits were proposed during consultation and have been set as the new permanent speed limits, taking effect from Friday 4 December 2020.

New permanent speed limits for SH73 Yaldhurst Road: 

Location Existing speed limit New speed limit from 4 December 2020

SH73 East of Yaldhurst

- from 155m west of SH73/SH1 (Russley Road) intersection to 200m west of Sir John McKenzie Drive

80km/h 60km/h

SH73 Yaldhurst

- a reduction of the existing 70km/h zone through Yaldhurst to 60km/h, and an extension of this 60km/h zone to 150m west of Hasketts Road




Extension of 60km/h zone west



SH73 West of Yaldhurst

- from 150m west of Hasketts Road to 200m west of Old West Coast Rd

100km/h 80km/h

Why have the speed limits changed?

The speed review undertaken assessed that some speed limits were no longer the safe and appropriate speeds for the route. There has been considerable development of the area, both residential and commercial. As well as increasing traffic numbers, there are also more pedestrians and cyclists in the area.  Lower permanent speed limits are needed to reduce the number of crashes and resulting deaths and serious injuries.

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.

How were these new speed limits decided?

The speed review process involves numerous steps that help determine the speed limits we propose at consultation. We complete 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. We engaged with road user groups, members of the public, councils, NZ Automobile Association and the police to provide further feedback. Through the formal consultation process, there was also opportunity to tell us about other factors that we should consider when setting the speed limits. We have concluded the safe and appropriate speeds are 60km/h and 80km/h.

How many crashes have happened on the route?

In the ten-year period between 2009–2018 there were 56 crashes resulting in one fatality with five people receiving serious injuries. This route is included in the top 10% of the Canterbury regional roading network which will result in the greatest reduction in death and serious injury through speed management. Lower permanent speed limits were needed to reduce the number of crashes and resulting deaths and serious injuries.

Why is Waka Kotahi managing this change of speed limits instead of local councils?

This speed review was done in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council who is the Road Controlling Authority (RCA) for the local roads. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is the RCA for State Highways including Yaldhurst Road (which is State Highway 73) and is therefore responsible for setting speeds on this road.

Visit the Christchurch City Council’s website for information on the speed review on the local roads in this area(external link)

Map showing speed limit change sin Yaldhurst

How is the public being notified of these speed limit changes?

The new permanent speed limits are being advertising in newspapers and on radio, on the Waka Kotahi website, and on social media. There was also a media release sent out to various media organisations.

Did you consult with the public on these changes?

Yes. In September 2019, together with the Christchurch City Council, we consulted with the public on the proposed permanent speed limits.

Consultation summary [PDF, 292 KB]

Consultation submissions [PDF, 4.1 MB]

What more can be done for pedestrians and cyclists in the area?

No cycle or walking path is proposed as part of this work.  Cyclists are currently catered for with the wide shoulder along SH73. Reductions in speed will help reduce the risk for pedestrians and cyclists.

Why are the speeds not consistent throughout the corridor?

The speed limits need to be consistent with the roadside environment to ensure good compliance. The corridor consists of both rural, rural/urban transition and semi-urban areas. 80km/h is considered the safe and appropriate speed for similar rural areas, and 60km/h for more urban areas such as the Yaldhurst village.

Has speed been a major factor in crashes in this area?

Speed is a definitely a factor in crashes all across New Zealand, both in the cause of the crash and the outcomes should a crash occur. A study from the International Transport Forum (2018) estimates that for every 5km/h reduction in average speeds, there is a 28 percent reduction in fatal crashes and a 26 percent reduction in serious injury crashes. The risk of an injury crash approximately doubles between 80km/h and 100km/h.

Why isn’t the speed review corridor extended to include other dangerous areas such as the intersection at Buchanans Road?

The intersection speed zone signs already in use at this intersection are designed to address specific rural intersection crash risks. When a vehicle is turning into or out of a side road, the signs temporarily reduce the legal speed limit on state highway 73 from 100 km/h to 70km/h. There is also no obvious change in environment west of Buchanans Road which would justify a change in speed limit.