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Why set a new speed limit?

There were several safety issues on the SH90 southern approach into Tapanui, and these had also been raised by the community. They included:

  • The speed of vehicles as they approach the town.
  • Safe access onto the highway from driveways and side roads.
  • Driver behaviour.
  • Pedestrian safety  .
  • Not enough time for drivers to slow down before entering an area where there is a new residential development.

What is the new permanent speed limit?

From the existing south-west 50km/h SH90 speed change point 200m south-west towards Gore the new permanent speed limit from Friday 4 December 2020 is 50km/h.

View the map [PDF, 191 KB] 

How were those limits decided?

There are numerous steps in the speed review process that determine the speed limit we consult on.

The first step is completing a technical assessment which takes into account the road itself, traffic volumes, the crash history, and how people are currently travelling on the roads.

Following the technical assessment, we undertook informal engagement with road user groups, members of the public, councils, AA, road transport associations, and the Police. This feedback helped to determine if and what we will formally consult on for proposed speed limit changes.

During consultation we ask the community and road users for submissions on any external factors we may need to be aware of. The consultation runs for a minimum of four weeks. Once it closes, we analyse the submissions and review our technical assessment.

The consultation for the proposed speed limit changes is not a vote, it is about seeking valuable local and community input so that we can consider wider factors and context into our decisions.

For more information about how we reached these decisions, please read our consultation summary Web team to insert link to summary.

Speed review process 

What rules and regulations need to be considered?

Waka Kotahi as a Road Controlling Authority (RCA) is responsible for setting new speed limits on New Zealand’s state highways.

Setting new speed limits is a legal process, outlined in the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of the RCAs for reviewing and setting speed limits. 

In performing this task we are guided by the Speed Management Guide, which is a national framework that helps RCAs make informed, accurate and consistent speed management decisions in their communities.

Speed Management Guide [PDF, 7.4 MB]

Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017 

When do the speed limit changes come into effect and how are the public being notified?

The new speed limit takes effect on Friday, 4 December 2020.

The new permanent speed limit will be widely advertised through the newspaper, on-line and via social media. The public will see the new speed limit signs being installed a few days prior to the new safer speed limit coming into force.

How many crashes have happened on the route?

Between 2009 and 2018 there has been one minor injury and one non-injury crash on this section of SH90

A small change in speed makes a big difference, especially when cyclists or pedestrians are involved. Most crashes are caused by a variety of factors, even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed.

Won’t the new lower speed limits mean the trip will take a lot longer?

The permanent speed limits will have a minimal impact on travel times over what is a short 200 metre section of highway. 

Did you consult with the public on these changes?

Yes. In October/November 2019 we consulted with the public on the proposed permanent speed limits. We received 73 submissions.