Northland speed limits latest to be up for review

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 22, 2022

School zones and local townships are now the focus of Northland’s speed review, set to open for public consultation next month.

Starting 17 May, public consultation marks the next stage in the process to set safer speeds across 11 corridors in Te Tai Tokerau Northland and Tāmaki Makaurau north Auckland region.

In the 10 years from 2011-2020, 160 people were killed and 734 suffered serious injuries in crashes on these corridors.

“We’re proposing lower speed limits outside schools, where we know our tamariki are vulnerable at busy school drop-off and pick-up times”, said director of regional relationships Steve Mutton.

“The feedback we received during the engagement phase last year showed that there was community support for keeping students safe, often in areas where there are now increased traffic volumes and development,” he said.

Mutton said that similarly, Waka Kotahi heard support for reduced speeds through townships where there are varied road users, including pedestrians.

“Our analysis shows that the current range of speed limits in these areas are not safe and appropriate for the road.”

During May and June last year, Waka Kotahi engaged with stakeholders and the community to hear their views on speed and road safety in the region. They received 1,162 individual submissions which canvassed a wide range of views.

“We’ve also heard feedback that some people are worried about the economic impact of lowering speeds, particularly on the open roads and freight routes,” Mutton said.
“We’ll continue working with stakeholders to ensure that we reach the right solution, because we know that to improve road safety, we’ll need everyone’s help.”

Mutton confirmed that the proposals will not apply any blanket speed limits.

“We’re covering 707 kilometres of state highway, and some of these corridors are quite extensive. We have taken a targeted approach and divided each corridor up into sections, and at this stage we are focusing on schools and townships.”

Waka Kotahi will release the detailed speed limit proposals in advance of consultation starting 17 May. Consultation will run for one month, during which time the public will be encouraged to make submissions through a variety of channels.

The consultation period will open from 17 May and close at 11pm on Tuesday 14 June .