Safer Speed Limits: Speed Management Plan

The Speed Management Plan engagement survey closed on 25 September. Thank you to everyone who contributed their views and experience. We will be closely analysing the results and communicating the results. Our Council will approve recommendations to go to a regional Speed Management Plan.

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Every year far too many people die or are seriously injured on New Zealand roads. Speed is a major factor. The speed at the time of a road accident – whatever the cause of the crash – is usually what determines whether anyone is killed or seriously injured.  

The government and Waka Kotahi are promoting zero tolerance of road deaths and serious injuries. Waka Kotahi’s strategy, known as Road to Zero, is a plan to work towards zero road deaths and serious injuries. A key part of this is reviewing speed limits all over the country with a view to lowering them in high-risk areas.  

Making our roads safer will also contribute to improved communities and better health by enabling more people to make choices around walking and cycling safely 

Consulting you on local roads 

Our Council controls all the public roads in the district except for State Highways which are under Waka Kotahi’s control. We have a legal obligation to review and engage with the public on proposed changes to reduce speed limits, with the aim of reducing road deaths and injuries. 

To do this, we’ve assessed all the roads in the district (except for State Highways) using the latest scientific risk management tools to find out where changes are needed. In particular we’ve looked at: 

• roads with a high crash rate  

• high risk routes (e.g. hilly roads with steep drops or bends) 

• roads near schools  

• town centre roads 

• roads where the public have asked for changes.

We’ve taken those assessments and set out proposed changes in a draft interim Speed Management Plan for the district (view the three volumes of the plan below). We now need to get your views on these proposed changes.  

Safer Speed Limits teenagersAfter public feedback and final review by Council, we will submit the plan to Waikato Regional Council to become part of a regional Speed Management Plan. This will then be submitted to Waka Kotahi for final review before being entered into the new National Speed Limits Register.  

State Highways 

Waka Kotahi will be developing a Speed Management Plan for all state highways under its control, including State Highways 25, 25A and 26. There will be an opportunity for the public to give feedback on this. We will let residents know when this happens and how they can give feedback. 

What we’re proposing 

We’re proposing a range of initiatives to ensure that vehicle speeds are appropriate for the areas where we live, work and go to school.  

Key changes we propose include:  

• lowering the limit of some sections of rural routes to 70 or 80km/h (instead of the current open road limit of 100km/h) in line with the actual speeds that vehicles can safely drive on those roads 

• reducing speed limits near schools to 30km/hr in both urban and rural areas in line with new national legislation 

• lower speed limits in town centres and areas where there are a lot of pedestrians crossing roads at different points (e.g. tourist spots) or manoeuvring vehicles (e.g. hospitals) to 30km/hr 

• reducing the speed limit in some urban residential areas to 40km/h or possibly 30km/hr.

The method of reducing speeds may be signage or marking, or may involve physical measures such as road narrowing, platforms or chicanes. At this time no decision has been made on these measures, but we would welcome your views on what is acceptable. 

Your views count 

Safer Speed Limits eldersNo decisions have been made yet on these recommendations, but the change for speed limits around schools is a legal requirement. We are keen to get your feedback.  

Please note we cannot consider individual requests for speed limit reductions at single properties. 

Get informed about what we’re proposing and why. A lot of research and analysis has gone into the draft interim Speed Management Plan.  

To view the proposed speed limit changes, have a look at the document links below.  

After we consider your feedback, we’ll develop an implementation plan to provide a programme of works and timeline for installation.