The New Zealand Transport Agency says variable speed limits on sections of State Highways 16 and 20 around the Waterview Tunnel in Auckland will be in place in the first quarter of next year.
“Since the opening of the Waterview Tunnel in July, the Transport Agency has been monitoring driver behaviour and the operational performance of the highway and local road network and taking on board customer and stakeholder feedback,” says the Transport Agency’s System Design Manager, Brett Gliddon.
“Being able to vary the speed limit where appropriate improves traffic flows and the performance of the state highway network.”
The variable speed limits will allow maximum legal speeds ranging between 30 km/hr and 100km/hr, depending on the driving conditions and traffic volumes at the time.
“For most of the day, the maximum speed is likely to be 100km/hr, but both sections of SH16 and 20 are very busy during peak periods. Reducing the speed limit during busy periods improves traffic flows, meaning everyone can have a more consistent and safer journey.”
The variable speed limits will apply on SH16 between St Lukes and Rosebank Road and on SH20 between Maioro St and Dominion Road. Currently the speed limit is 80km/hr in these areas.
It’s intended that this first phase of variable speed limits will be introduced by the end of the first quarter of 2018. The Transport Agency has now formally gazetted the variable speed limits, which is a key part in the legal requirements to change the speeds. The necessary infrastructure for signage as well as the systems needed to operate variable speed limits are also being developed.
Speed limits on the approaches to and inside the Waterview Tunnel will not change. The speed limit is set at 80km/h to manage the higher risks associated with an enclosed tunnel environment.