Project introduction

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has set a permanent new speed limit on SH94 on the eastern approach to Lumsden.

  • Project type

    Speed review
  • Project status


Project updates

SH94 Lumsden speed review consultation summary
Public consultation, (PDF)
SH94 Lumsden speed review consultation submissions
Public consultation, (PDF)


From November to December 2019, Waka Kotahi consulted on safe and appropriate speeds on the 19km section of SH94 from the eastern approach to the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound.

SH94 is the solitary road link to Milford Sound one of our most iconic tourist attractions, and widely used by visitors and our tour operators, and an economic lifeline for the Milford Sound community and Fiordland businesses.

This speed review is part of the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Speed Management Programme because this route is in the top 10% of highway corridors in the country for fatal and serious injury crashes in the country. Other reasons included community support for a speed review and to ensure safe and consistent permanent speed limits from the eastern approach to the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound.


Between October and November 2019, Waka Kotahi consulted with stakeholders and the community on a safe and appropriate speed limit for the SH94 eastern approach into Lumsden in the Southland region.

Waka Kotahi is always looking for ways to improve the safety or our roads. On some roads we’re doing this with safety improvements such as rumble strips and safety barriers. However, changing the speed limit is the most effective option for increasing safety on this section of highway.

Some members of the community have told us they felt a lower speed limit would improve safety on this road. Reasons given for this support included concern over poor visibility, dangerous driver behaviour, and the number of heavy commercial vehicles using this route. Two local schools are near this section of road and many people including staff and parents fear for the safety of pupils crossing the highway to get to and from school. Our priority is to make this road safer so that everyone using it can get where they are going safely and reliably.

Permanent speed limits

The following speed limit was proposed during consultation and has now been set as the new permanent speed limit. This new permanent speed limit takes effect from Friday, 16 October 2020.

Location Distance Existing speed limit New speed limit from 15 October 2020
SH94 Lumsden Township
Lumsden eastern approach (380m south-east of Maria Street)
870m 50km/h–70km/h 50km/h

Map of new speed limit on SH94 through Lumsden

Investigation and evidence

When determining the proposed speed limits that we consulted on, we reviewed the speeds that people are currently driving on this road, as well as the road itself. The speed limit of 50km/h was assessed as safe and appropriate speed for this section of highway.

A variety of factors were considered when setting the new speed limit. Among them is the undulating nature of the road. This makes it hard for those trying to access the highway from side roads or driveways, to judge the speed of approaching vehicles.

Crash history

While there have been no fatal or serious injury crashes on this section of highway over the last 10 years, several near misses have been reported that could have resulted in serious crashes. The new lower permanent speed limit will help reduce the frequency of these incidents.

Travel times

The new permanent speed limits will have minimal impact on travel times. Over this 870m route, the additional travel time for drivers will be less than 8 seconds.

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about the SH94 Lumsden permanent speed limit by reading the frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions

Consultation and submissions

Public consultation closed on 15 November 2019.

48 submissions were received during the consultation period from stakeholder organisations and the public.

Consultation summary report [PDF, 768 KB]
Consultation submissions [PDF, 1.5 MB]

How speed reviews work

More information about speed and the speed review process is available on the Speed Review Programme webpage.