New 110km/h speed limits will come into effect from Monday 11 December for the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road (SH2) and the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway (SH1).
The changes follow an extensive consultation process in which the NZ Transport Agency received almost 11,500 submissions from the public and stakeholders. The formal process to change the speed limit is now underway, and the new limits will be in place on Monday 11 December.
NZ Transport Agency Director of Safety and Environment Harry Wilson says these two roads have been selected for the new limit because they are two of the safest roads in New Zealand, with safety features such as median-barriers, no crossing roads, no tight curves and two lanes in each direction, which significantly reduces the risk of serious collisions occurring.
“Both the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway have been designed and will be maintained and operated to the necessary standards to safely support 110km/h travel speeds,” Mr Wilson says.
“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 increasing number of deaths on our roads is unacceptable, and the speed limit will only be increased on our very safest and most well-designed roads which can support higher travel speeds without compromising safety. We are working to create a safe transport system which is more forgiving of human error, and for some roads this will likely result in current speed limits being reduced to improve safety.
“Any additional roads being considered for the 110km/h speed limit will require full technical reviews of the safety aspects of the road 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. Speed limits can also be lowered on roads using the same process.”
Mr Wilson says large signs will be installed on the two sections of the Tauranga Eastern Link and the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway where the 110km/h speed limits are being introduced in order to ensure that drivers know when they need to slow down when the speed limit returns to 100km/h.
“It’s important that people remember that all speed limits are the maximum speed for safe travel in ideal conditions – they are not the minimum, and they are not a target. It’s important that drivers adjust their travelling speeds depending on the weather conditions, traffic volumes and other factors. At many times on many roads the safe speed for travel will be lower than the posted limit.”
On the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road the 110km/h speed limit section is between the Paengaroa roundabout and the Domain Road interchange, and on the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway the 110km/h speed limit section is between the Cambridge Southern and Tamahere interchanges.