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Safer speeds for SH3 Whanganui to Westmere

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is making speed limits safer on State Highway 3 between Whanganui and Westmere, with new limits to be introduced on Friday, 18 December 2020.

The changes will reduce the existing 100km/h limit to 80km/h, and 70km/h limit to 50km/h in places. The decision comes after formal consultation in late 2019 to introduce safer speed limits along this corridor.

“Our top priority is to reduce injuries and save lives, and no matter what causes a crash, speed is always a factor in the severity of the crash outcomes,” Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says.

“Between 2009 and 2018, there were 21 crashes on this road. Two people died and three people were seriously injured. The speed limit changes will make SH3 safer for everyone who uses it.

“The way this road is used has changed. Whanganui is growing and there are more people coming and going from their homes, riding their bikes and walking.

“Both the council and community have called for safer speeds. During engagement and formal consultation locals told us they feel unsafe and that the speed limit needs to be lowered to reduce the number of crashes and make it safer.

“Our decision is that the 50km/h and 80km/h limits are a better fit for this stretch of road. They are safe and appropriate for what’s now a residential and semi-rural area, and will help make intersections along this road safer too.”

The new speed limits will be:

  • 50km/h - from 30m south of Turere Place/Great North Road (SH3) intersection to 200m north of Tirimoana Place/Great North Road (SH3) intersection. Currently the speed limit on this section is 70km/h.
  • 80km/h - from 200m north of Tirimoana Place/Great North Road (SH3) intersection to 100m north of Blue Skin Road/Great North Road (SH3) intersection. Currently the speed limit on this section is 100km/h.

“We thank everyone who made a submission and gave us their feedback on the proposed changes. The feedback encompassed a wide range of views which were all taken into consideration, alongside results from our technical assessments, before making our decision.

“We have listened to the community throughout this process. We appreciate that while some people will be very pleased with the decision, others may be disappointed.

“We’d also like to thank NZ Police, Whanganui District Council and other key partners who worked with us on this review,” Ms Speight says.

Contractors will begin installing new signage ahead of the new speed limits taking effect from 18 December 2020.

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