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Have your say on safe speeds for SH56 Palmerston North to Ōpiki

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Reducing unsafe speed limits is the most effective and immediate way to dramatically improve safety on our high-risk roads.

That’s why Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reviewing speed limits on State Highway 56 between Palmerston North and Ōpiki, and inviting locals and people who regularly travel this route to have their say.

Engagement on SH56 speed limits opened today (Monday 13 June) and closes at 5pm on Monday 11 July.

Director Regional Relationships Linda Stewart says Waka Kotahi wants everyone who uses this road to get to where they’re going safely.

“Waka Kotahi is committed to a vision for Aotearoa where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“There are many reasons crashes happen and we need a mix of solutions that all work together to keep people safe. We need everyone making safe choices, in safe vehicles, on safe roads and travelling at safe speeds.

“This section of road has previously undergone infrastructure improvements including installation of guardrails and sections of road widening. $150,000 per year is spent on maintenance of the road and it receives regular surface levelling.

“These safety improvements help to reduce the likelihood of someone having a crash, however, we know even the best drivers sometimes make mistakes. Even when speed doesn’t cause a crash, it’s what will most likely determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed.”

In the five years between 2017 and 2021, there were more than 100 crashes on this route, and five people were killed. Waka Kotahi has identified this as a road where safer speeds could make a big difference in preventing deaths and serious injuries. 

“Local insights help us understand how people feel about current speeds in the area, including on roads around their local school, marae, homes, business or workplace.”

This information helps Waka Kotahi decide if a speed limit change is the best thing to do to improve road safety, where new speed limits might begin or end, and if any other safety improvements might be needed. The feedback also helps decide if and what speed limit changes will be formally consulted on.

You can find out more and share your views by:

  • Visiting our website: nzta.govt.nz/pn2opiki
  • Emailing us: sh56@nzta.govt.nz
  • Speaking to the team at our community drop-in sessions:
    • Wednesday 29 June 2022, 3:00 – 4:00pm at Ōpiki School, 566 Tane Road, RD4, Ōpiki, Palmerston North
    • Thursday 30 June 2022, 3:00 – 6:00pm at Longburn School, Cray Street, Palmerston North

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