When determining the proposed speed limits that we consulted on, we reviewed the speeds that people are currently driving on this road, as well as the road itself. Speed limits of 60km/h and 80km/h were assessed to be the safe and appropriate speeds for the majority of the route that formed part of this speed review.
Other factors reviewed and considered were the increase in traffic volumes including heavy vehicles, domestic and international tourism and the current road and roadside environments along the corridor that do not match the various existing speed limits.
Between 2009 and 2018, there were 226 crashes on this stretch of state highway. Eight people were killed and a further 30 people were seriously injured.
There are numerous roadside hazards along the route such as large trees and roadside drains, including a particularly winding and tortuous section north of Motutere. There are a diverse range of vehicles and people using this stretch of SH1, including trucks shifting freight, commuters, holiday makers, international tourists and cyclists. For many, SH1 is also the ‘street’ they live on and the place they call home. With such a mixture of users and reasons for travelling along this route there is the ever-present risk of crashes occurring.
No matter what causes a crash, speed is always a factor in the severity. Put simply, the speed of impact can be the difference between walking away or being carried away from a crash. Lower permanent speed limits are therefore needed to reduce the number of crashes and resulting deaths and serious injuries.
Over the entire route, from Taupō to Turangi, the new permanent speed limits are expected to increase travel times on average by one minute and 30 seconds. Many people over-estimate the time they would lose if they drove at a slower speed. When you factor in things like congestion travel times don’t vary as much as you think when a speed limit is reduced. Based on existing mean travel times, the new permanent speed limits are expected to have minimal impact on travel times for those using this stretch of SH1.
Increasing safety can also improve journey times. Many of us have been on our roads when there has been a serious crash. These traumatic crashes cause significant physical and emotional harm and they also create additional costs and delays for other road users. When a serious accident requires this stretch of SH1 to be closed, the only alternative route via SH32 and 41, is much longer and more arduous to drive.
Frequently asked questions
Find out more about the SH1 Taupō Airport to Turangi permanent speed limits by reading the frequently asked questions.
Frequently asked questions
Consultation and submissions
Public consultation closed on 22 November 2019. 120 submissions were received during the consultation period from stakeholder organisations and the public.
Consultation summary report [PDF, 1.3 MB]
Consultation submissions [PDF, 507 KB]