A recently completed NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) review of speed limits on State Highway 1 in the Woodend area has confirmed the current 100km/h open road speed limit is appropriate for this section of highway.
The possibility of lowering this limit to 80km/h was suggested following a triple fatality car crash in early May on State Highway 1 between Woodend and the motorway to Christchurch. At the time, the NZTA undertook to review the open road speed limit.
NZTA Regional State Highways Manager Colin Knaggs says the review looked at existing development along the highway, the road’s crash history and the general highway environment and after considering these, confirmed the current open road speed limit is appropriate. With an average speed of 87km/h and few speed related crashes with just two in the last 5 years - the NZTA does not believe excessive speed is a significant safety issue on this stretch of highway.
Mr Knaggs said the NZTA would be trialling new median treatments designed to improve safety on busy undivided rural state highways. Development of these treatments started several months ago and has now reached a stage where they are ready to trial.
Mr Knaggs said the trial would include a painted median about 700mm wide to provide greater separation between each lane of the highway. A sealed roadside shoulder of at least 1 metre would be retained.
Coloured paint may be used to accentuate the centreline to make it more visible to drivers. A survey will be carried out at the site prior to this work commencing with a follow up survey a few months later to measure the effectiveness of these treatments. Subject to the required approvals being granted work is expected to start in October or November and take a few weeks to complete.