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Project introduction

The speed limit will only be increased to 110km/h on roads which can support higher travel speeds without compromising safety. These roads will be designed, constructed, maintained and operated to the necessary standards for a 110km/h travel speed.

Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway

People are now able to travel 110km/h on the SH2 Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and SH1 Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway.

The posted 110km/h speed limit is the maximum speed for safe travel in ideal conditions – it is not a target. Please adjust your speed depending on the weather conditions and environment you are travelling in.

Remember:

  • Watch out for the advisory signage which will alert you to the beginning and end of the 110km/h section.
  • The speed limit for heavy vehicles and vehicles towing remains at 90km/h.
  • Cyclists are prohibited on the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road but are permitted in the three metre shoulder of the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway.
  • Keep left when not passing.

These two roads have been selected first because they are two of the best in New Zealand with safety features such as median-barriers and two lanes in each direction, which significantly reduces head-on collisions – a primary cause of very serious crashes.

The 110km/h speed limit section on the SH2 Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road is between the Paengaroa roundabout and the Domain Road interchange, and between the Cambridge Southern and Tamahere interchanges on SH1 Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway.

 

Map

Consultation process

The NZ Transport Agency received almost 11,500 submissions from the public and stakeholders with 73 percent of the submissions in favour of increasing the speed limit on the two roads.

The submissions were received via the website, through email and post, and the Transport Agency’s Facebook pages. All of the input from stakeholders, road users and the community was considered when deciding whether the Transport Agency would proceed with the increased speed limit.

View details about the 110km/h speed management consultation.

Background

The Setting of Speed Limits Rule (2017) was signed on 21 August 2017 and came into effect on 21 September 2017. The new Rule replaces Speed Limits NZ (SLNZ) with a modernised process for setting speed limits and also allows a maximum speed limit of 110km/h on our very best roads.

The 110km/h speed limit is the upper limit and, like all speed limits, is the maximum not the target. Drivers are expected to adjust their travelling speeds depending on the weather conditions and environment.

The Transport Agency, on behalf of the Government, is committed to making New Zealand roads safer and reducing the number of people seriously injured and killed in crashes. The speed limit will only be increased on roads which can support higher travel speeds without compromising safety.

Any additional roads being considered for the 110km/h speed limit will require technical reviews and public consultation. This enables communities and stakeholders to contribute to decisions that will help make travelling by road safer, more predictable and therefore more efficient. Speeds can also be lowered on roads using the same process.

Frequently asked questions

  • How will I know where 110km/h starts and stops?

    There will be advisory signage along both routes to alert drivers to the beginning and end of the 110km/h sections:

    • Two 110km/h signs (1,200mm diameter roundels), one on  both sides of the road, at the beginning of each section
    • At least one 110km repeater sign no more than four kilometres between the speed limit sign locations
    • Two standard 100km/h motorway or expressway ends signs on both sides of the road as road users leave the 110km/h section
    • Advance warning ‘Speed limit ahead’ signs no more than 300metres before the end of the section
    • Standard 100km/h signs no more than 500metres after the 110km/h section ends – to reinforce the lower speed limit
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  • Where do the 110km/h sections start and stop?

    SH2 Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road

    • Eastbound from 120m south-east of the south-eastern abutment of the Domain Road westbound off-ramp over bridge, to 599 metres north-west of the centre of the SH2/ SH33/Te Puke Highway roundabout.
    • Westbound from 209 metres north-west of the centre of the SH2/ SH33/ Te Puke Highway roundabout, to 1,455 metres east of the south-eastern abutment of the Domain Road westbound off-ramp over bridge.
    • Domain Road Eastbound on-ramp from 95m north-west of the Domain Road on-ramp nose to the end of the on-ramp.

    SH1 Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway

    • Northbound from 35m south of the Southern Interchange Bridge (Te Koo Utu) southern abutment to 1305m south-east of the Tamahere overbridge southern abutment
    • Southbound from 1310m south east of the Tamahere overbridge southern abutment to 65m south of the Karapiro Gully (Horotiu Paa) bridge southern abutment
    • Including a maximum length of 100 metres of 110km/h for on-ramps and off-ramps connected to this section of State highway;
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  • Why did you consult?

    The Transport Agency is required to consult with local stakeholders, road users and the community before changing any speed limit. Input from these groups is considered when deciding to implement the new speed limit.

    It is important that communities are enabled to contribute in any decision to make roads more efficient and safe. This includes any local community affected by the speed limit, as well as other entities including other road controlling authorities, the NZ Automobile Association, the Road Transport Forum, NZ Police, and all road user groups considered to be affected by the change.

    View details about the 110km/h speed management consultation.

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  • Why isn’t the entire length of the Tauranga Eastern Link being made 110km/h?

    The Tauranga Eastern Link is made up of two sections; the tolled motorway section between the Paengaroa roundabout and Domain Road interchange and the expressway section between the Domain Road interchange and Te Maunga.

    The tolled motorway section of the Tauranga Eastern Link is being considered for the 110km/h speed limit.

    The expressway section between the Domain Road interchange and Te Maunga is not considered safe to support 110km/h travel speeds at this time. This section is high volume (30,000 vehicles per day) and there are closely spaced interchanges. This means there are a lot of vehicles changing lanes on this length.

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  • Won’t a higher speed limit mean more crashes?

    The roads that support 110km/h are designed, constructed, maintained and operated to the necessary standards for the travel speed. These are our very best roads with safety features that significantly reduce the chance of a serious crash. For example, median-barriers and two lanes in each direction will prevent head-on collisions - a primary cause of very serious crashes.  If crashes do occur we don’t expect them to result in death or serious injury due to the supporting safety infrastructure along these roads.

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  • Will other road users (for example people cycling) be able to use the 110km/h roads?

    The Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road is classified as a motorway so non-motorised road users (for example, people walking or cycling) are currently prohibited from using the road.

    The Cambridge section is an expressway and cycling is a permitted activity.  There are three metre shoulders available for cyclists, as well as an off road facility on part of the length.

    Generally the 110km/h expressways will be safer for cyclists than negotiating the adjoining local road network.

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  • How will the speed limit on the 110km/h roads be enforced by Police?

    Police will apply the same enforcement considerations to 110km/h roads as any other part of the road network. This includes deploying to locations where the road safety risk is greatest. Officers will continue to use discretion in applying enforcement interventions according to the circumstances, with a focus on ensuring people drive in a safe manner and at a safe speed.

    Police would like to remind drivers to drive to the conditions, free from impairment and distraction, and make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained. By doing this, you will dramatically reduce the chances of causing harm to yourself and others on the road.

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  • Who sets speed limits?

    Speed limits in New Zealand are set by local authorities for local roads, and by the NZ Transport Agency for state highways. 

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