New safer speed limit for SH8, Burkes Pass, South Canterbury

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 14, 2020

The NZ Transport Agency has set a permanent new speed limit for SH8 through Burkes Pass, in South Canterbury.

From 12 October, the existing 80kph section of SH8 through Burkes Pass will be reduced to 60ph. This change will start 260 metres northeast of Rollesby Valley Road and go to 350m southwest of Rollesby Valley Road.

Burkes Pass is well known as the entrance to the Mackenzie District and the beginning of a scenic journey that takes people past the South Island‘s hydro lakes.

“Residents in Burkes Pass have been asking for the speed to be reduced in their township for some time,” says Jim Harland, director regional relationships for NZTA.

“We have undertaken a thorough review of the speed limit, which included consulting with the general public in October and November last year. We thank the members of the public who provided their feedback on the proposed speed limits, with 44 submissions received,” says Harland.

“Burkes Pass is an historic small village and is a popular place to stop and take a break. For this reason, people wanted the speed limit lowered. Our decision is that 60kph is a safe and appropriate speed for this rural village and that it brings the speed into line with similar-sized villages in Canterbury,” he says.

Jane Batchelor, chairperson of the Burkes Pass Heritage Trust and a long-time lobbyist for a safer speed limit through the village, says it may have taken some time to achieve it, but she is glad it is now in sight.

“Many people were determined not to give up in our request for a safer speed limit for residents and for all road users. We are glad our voices have been heard.”

The setting of the new permanent speed limit also included engagement with the police, the AA, and the Road Transport Forum.