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New safe speed limits for Horowhenua

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has set new permanent speed limits for SH1 between Ōtaki and Levin and SH57 between the intersection of SH1 and Heatherlea East Road.

Waka Kotahi consulted on proposed speed limit changes for SH57 in September 2021 and for SH1 in May and June this year. This followed a review of the road that found the current speed limits weren’t safe or appropriate for the road and environment around it.

Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships Linda Stewart says work is progressing to make both SH1 and SH57 in Horowhenua safer, and the introduction of these new permanent speed limits is a further step to help achieve that.

“While we are working towards opening the new highway in 2029, we’re investing in a range of infrastructure improvements in this region. This includes installing median and side barriers, widening centre lines, and making improvements to the road surface,” Ms Stewart says.

“These safety improvements will reduce the likelihood of someone having a crash, but we know that even the best drivers can make mistakes and reducing the speed also reduces the risk of death or serious injury when a crash does happen.

“If we’re going to reduce deaths and serious injuries, we need to address every part of the system. We need safe vehicles, safe roads, and drivers that make safe choices. We also need safe speeds”.

In the last five years 72 people have been killed or seriously injured in crashes on SH1 and SH57 in the area, making it one of the country’s most dangerous sections of roads to drive.

Road to Zero is New Zealand’s road safety strategy that sets a target to reduce deaths and serious injuries on roads, cycleways, and footpaths by 40 percent over the next 10 years. Regardless of the cause of a crash, speed is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured or walks away unharmed.

The temporary speed limit in place at Kuku has resulted in a significant reduction in the number and severity of crashes due to a lowered average speed through the section.

The new permanent speed limits will be rolled out by the end of next week.

SH1

Location Existing speed limit (km/h) New speed limit (km/h)
From 150m south of Muhunoa East Road to 150m north of Waikawa Beach Road 100km/h 80km/h
From 180m south of the intersection with the railway underpass road linking to Honi Taipua Street to 380m west of Pukehou Overbridge 100km/h 80km/h

SH57

Location Existing speed limit (km/h) New speed limit (km/h)
360m south of Graham Street, Shannon to 20m north of Vance Street 70km/h 60km/h
310m east of SH1 intersection to 70m north of Heatherlea East Road 100km/h 80km/h

More information on the permanent speed limits and public consultation, including a summary of submissions, can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/horowhenua-safe-speeds

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