Consultation on proposed highway speed limit changes in Otago

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 3, 2019

The NZ Transport Agency is currently identifying highways where lower speed limits could help save lives and reduce serious crashes and where communities want change.

In Otago, consultation starts this month on proposals to lower the speed limits on SH88 in Port Chalmers and on SH1 through Waihola.

“There‘s strong community support in these towns for lower speed limits, which is supported by councils, the Automobile Association and NZ Police,” says NZTA director regional relationships Jim Harland. “We know many local people are concerned about increasing traffic volumes and vehicle speeds in their communities.”

Consultation on the proposed speed limit change for SH88 through Port Chalmers between Wickcliffe Terrace and Beach Street and SH 1 through Waihola, starts Friday 6 September, with feedback closing on 7 October.

In the 10 years from 2009 to 2018, there were seven crashes on SH88 through Port Chalmers. Over the same period, there were 10 crashes on SH1 through Waihola, with one person seriously injured.

“There are a lot of trucks using SH1 through Waihola. The community, Clutha District Council and others are worried about the safety of the elderly and young children trying to cross a wide and busy highway with a 70km/h speed limit,” says Harland.

“On SH88 through Port Chalmers there are also many large trucks servicing Port Otago. Some elderly people and the young find it challenging crossing what can be a busy highway, as do passengers on the many cruise ships that visit Port Chalmers from October to April.

“While technical assessments of these sites support the proposed speed limit changes, feedback from councils, local residents and other key stakeholders is critical to ensuring the most appropriate and safest speeds become permanent and enforceable for these communities.”

Harland says this feedback will be considered by the NZTA before it makes any final decisions on these proposed speed limit changes. The consultation period gives people a month to provide feedback on the proposed speed limit changes.

What are the proposals?


Current speed limit

Proposed speed limit

SH88 Port Chalmers

Lower the speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h on a 600-metre section of SH88 between Wickcliffe Terrace and Beach Street.



SH1 Waihola

Instead of the current 70km/h limit, drop the limit to 50km/h along a one-kilometre section of SH1 through the township.



Later this year, two other places in Otago will also have their speed limits reviewed – at Luggate, SH6, and at Rosebank, near Balclutha, SH1.