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Safer speed limits for Hamilton highways

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is moving to make state highways in Hamilton City safer, with new speed limits in place from next month

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is moving to make state highways in Hamilton City safer, with new speed limits in place from next month.

State Highways 1, 3 and 26 are crucial roads through the Waikato’s largest city, and there have been calls to make these roads safer by reducing the speed for some time. Between 2009 and 2018 there were 1,311 reported crashes on these roads, with 10 people killed and 61 seriously injured.

Waka Kotahi has reviewed what the safe and appropriate speeds should be and the legal process to change the speed limits will be completed on 10 December, with signs installed soon after. Once the signs are in place, drivers will be required to comply with the new speed limits.

Director of Regional Relationships David Speirs says there are a number of factors that go into setting safe and appropriate speeds.

“We looked at the number of people who use these roads and the various ways they use them, as well as the features of the roads and the surrounding environment. These city highways are high-volume with pedestrians and cyclists mixing with general traffic.

“A small reduction in speed makes a big difference in the outcome of crashes. It determines whether anyone is killed, injured or walks away unharmed.”

Waka Kotahi has reviewed what the safe and appropriate speeds should be and the legal process to change the speed limits will be completed on 10 December. The signs will be installed as soon as possible following this date, and it will take some time, including working at night, to install the large number of signs.  Once the signs are installed, drivers will be required to comply with the new speed limits.

The following table shows the confirmed speed limits:

State highway

SH1, SH3, SH26, Hamilton City

Existing speed limit

New speed limit

SH1

From 180m north west of the centre of the Crawford Street / Avalon Drive / SH1 Roundabout to 250m north of Rifle Range Road (existing speed limit change point)

80km/h

60km/h

SH1

From 150m south of Killarney Road (existing speed limit change point) to 70m north of Kahikatea Drive (SH1) (existing speed limit change point)

80km/h.

60km/h

SH1

From 41m east of Alison Street (proposed new speed limit change point) to 70m north-east of Lorne Street (existing speed limit change point)

60km/h

50km/h

SH3

From the Kahikatea Drive intersection (existing speed limit change point) to 25m south-east of Resthill Crescent (existing speed limit)

60km/h

50km/h

SH3

On Normandy Avenue (SH3) from SH1, Lorne Street (existing speed limit change point) to SH3 Ohaupo Road (existing speed limit change point)

60km/h

50km/h

SH1

From 70m north-east of Lorne Street (existing speed limit change point) to 190m west of Howell Avenue (existing speed limit change point)

80km/h

60km/h

SH1

From 190m west of Howell Avenue (existing speed limit change point) to 70m south of Riverlea Road (existing speed limit change point)

60km/h

50km/h

SH26

On Morrinsville Road (SH26) from SH1 (existing speed limit change point) to 260m north-east of Berkley Avenue (existing speed limit change point)

60km/h

50km/h

SH26

Berkley School VSL
105m north east of Cambridge Road to30m south west of Berkley Avenue

60/40km/h

50/40km/h

SH3

From 25m south-east of Resthill Crescent (existing speed limit change point) to 265m south of the centre of the new SH3 Ohaupo Road / Southern Links roundabout (new speed limit change point)

70km/h

60km/h

SH3

From 265m south of the centre of the new SH3 Ohaupo Road / Southern Links roundabout (new speed limit change point) to 340m north of Rukuhia Road (existing speed limit change point)

100km/h

80km/h

SH3

Intersection Speed Zone Ohaupo Road (SH3)/Raynes Road

Expected to be implemented mid 2022

100km/h

80/60km/h

“We had a lot of feedback from people asking for safety improvements to be made at the intersection between Raynes Road and SH3/Ohaupo Road, as they didn’t feel safe pulling out of Raynes Road onto the highway,” Mr Speirs says.

“The new speed limit through this section of SH3 will be 80km/h and we will be putting in an intersection speed zone (ISZ). This is expected to be completed in mid-2022, and it will mean the speed limit will temporarily reduce to 60km/h when the electronic signs detect someone turning in or out of Raynes Road.”

Planning is also underway to upgrade the T-intersection at the Raynes Road/SH1 intersection to a roundabout to further improve safety. Waka Kotahi is currently undertaking the feasibility study, and it is hoped this can then move on to construction within the next one to two years. The ISZ will remain in place until the roundabout is fully operational.

The setting of the permanent speed limits follows engagement with the Police, the AA, Hamilton City Council and road user groups, and consultation with the public.

“We thank all those who provided their feedback on the proposed speed limits. There were many suggestions for other ways to improve the safety of these routes and we are looking into opportunities to implement more safety improvements.”

More information on the permanent speed limits and our consultation summary, including the submissions, can be found at:

Hamilton City SH1, SH3 and SH26 new permanent speed limits(external link)

 

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