Petition lodged to counter speed reduction on Napier-Taupō Road

In News1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 14, 2022

A new petition is urging Government to intervene to block the lowering of speed limits on the Napier-Taupō Highway.

Lodged by Kiri Goodspeed, the petition is asking the House of Representatives to urge Waka Kotahi to rescind its decision to permanently lower the speed limit on SH5, between Rangitaiki and Esk Valley, from 100kph to 80kph.

This was followed by the Hastings District Council placing a full-page advertisement in Hawke’s Bay Today in opposition to proposed speed limit changes to SH5 between Napier and Taupō.

Napier-Taupō road has a dangerous history, with eight deaths in the space of 10 months from December 2019 to October 2020.

Goodspeed suggested speed reductions should instead be implemented at known crash spots – notably Te Pōhue and Te Hāroto – supported by a comprehensive upgrade plan.

The petition said a blanket approach to speed reduction on SH5 will negatively impact the region’s economy, residents and visitors, while doing nothing to address the road’s physical issues.

“Public opposition, the positive impacts achieved through targeted maintenance and safety works, and Police’s ‘Stay Alive on 5’ road safety campaign have been ignored”, the petition said.

Waka Kotahi announced the decision to reduce the speed limit on the section of road in December, despite opposition in many of the 2000 submissions during public consultation earlier in 2021.

The new limits take effect on 18 February.