Speed limit changes coming for select locations on Northland and North Auckland state highways

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 23, 2024

Waka Kotahi will be changing speed limits on short sections of the state highway network across Northland and north Auckland, following consultation with communities.

The transport agency said focus will be kept on select locations through townships and close to schools and marae, rather than the entire stretch of state highway. This will allow for more targeted changes to protect vulnerable road users accessing community venues, workplaces and local schools.

Sections of state highway were selected as priority areas for consideration following strong feedback and genuine safety concerns from the community and local stakeholders, as part of the Northland and north Auckland Speed Review project.

Following approval from the Director of Land Transport, a phased approach will be used to implement speed limit changes on sections of the following state highways:

SH1 Pukenui to Kaitaia

SH15 from SH1 (north of Kaikohe) to Otaika

SH14 Dargaville to Whangārei

SH1 Kawakawa to Whangārei

SH11 Kawakawa to Paihia

SH1 Whangārei to Te Hana

SH12 Ōmāpere to Kaikohe

SH12 Brynderwyn to Ōmāpere

SH16 Wellsford to Waimauku

SH1 Te Hana to Warkworth

SH10 Pakaraka to Taipa

The approved changes include 54 new permanent speed limit changes on targeted sections of state highway and new electronic (variable speed limit) signs across 34 schools. The changes affect speed limits alongside seven marae.

NZTA director regional relationships, Steve Mutton, said sections on SH1 Pukenui to Kaitaia will be the first to be rolled out, effective from 4 March 2024.

“This will include a permanent speed limit change to five sections of SH1 and new variable speed limit signs at Waiharara School and Awanui School, operating during school peak times,” he said.

“Variable speed limits are activated during school periods to display a lower, enforceable speed limit and help to slow traffic down when people are travelling to and from school.

“Speed limit changes on the remaining state highways are expected to be delivered by the end of 2024. This includes variable speed limits (VSL) at the 34 schools in Northland and north Auckland.”

All decisions have been informed by detailed technical assessments to check the road environment, layout and use, and by extensive consultation with the community, iwi/hapu partners, and stakeholders to help fully understand the safety issues.

NZTA will update local communities and motorists prior to and during construction to minimise disruption and new signs will clearly outline the new speed limits.

The transport agency said the speed limit changes in Northland and north Auckland were approved before the formalisation of signalled new speed rules.

NZTA said it has ensured the implementation is consistent with the new coalition Government’s direction on speed rules.