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Project introduction

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are reviewing safe and appropriate speeds along SH1/SH3 between Bulls and Sanson.

  • Project type

    Infrastructure upgrade, Speed review

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We want to make your roads safer for everyone who uses them. There’s been a high number of crashes on SH1/SH3. Between 2011 and 2020, there were 83 crashes on this 6.4 km stretch of road, resulting in 14 people seriously injured and 23 receiving minor injuries. We want to make sure that speeds are safe and appropriate for this road, so we’re reviewing the current speed limits.

Speed increases both the likelihood of crashes and the severity of crashes when they happen. A change in speed can make a big difference, especially when cyclists or pedestrians are involved. Most crashes are caused by a number of factors, but even when it’s not the cause of a crash, speed is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed.

Bulls to Sanson speed review info sheet [PDF, 234 KB]

What we know

This section of road is in the top 10% for deaths and serious injuries on state highways in New Zealand.

We’ve heard from the community that changes to this section of state highway are needed to make it feel safe for all road users. There are many different users on this stretch of road, with an average of 15,000 vehicles driving it daily. It connects two sections of SH1, making it a vital link between the central and lower North Island. As well as this, access to Base Ōhakea comes via SH3, with Royal New Zealand Airforce (RNZAF) staff travelling to and from this site. The RNZAF is also anticipating a large increase in staff based at Ōhakea in the near future.

Existing speed limit map

Infrastructure improvements

As well as looking at speed limits, we’re currently investigating three infrastructure improvements between Bulls and Sanson. We have funding to investigate possible design options. We will then apply for construction funding once we’ve completed the detailed design phase.

The infrastructure improvements being designed are:

  • a three-armed roundabout at the turn-off to RNZAF Base Ōhakea
  • a shared use path from Bulls to Ōhakea
  • relocation of the NZ Police weigh station.

Community engagement

In May 2021, we engaged with the communities in Bulls and Sanson about safe and appropriate speeds for this section of road, as well as on the infrastructure improvements currently being investigated. We’ll use the feedback we received to recommend what speed limits are best for this road and then formally consult with you.

Feedback closed on Sunday, 30 May 2021.

Key findings and further details about the feedback we received from the community can be found in the engagement summary.

Community engagement summary [PDF, 843 KB]

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