Project introduction

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has set a new permanent new speed limit to improve safety on SH1 through Waihola.

  • Project type

    Speed review
  • Project status


Project updates

Waihola, Otago, speed review outcome announced
Media release,
SH1 Waihola speed review consultation summary report
Public consultation, (PDF)
SH1 Waihola speed review consultation submissions
Public consultation, (PDF)
SH1 Waihola speed consultation factsheet
Public consultation, (PDF)


From November to December 2019, Waka Kotahi consulted on safe and appropriate speeds on the 19km section of SH94 from the eastern approach to the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound.

SH94 is the solitary road link to Milford Sound one of our most iconic tourist attractions, and widely used by visitors and our tour operators, and an economic lifeline for the Milford Sound community and Fiordland businesses.

This speed review is part of the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Speed Management Programme because this route is in the top 10% of highway corridors in the country for fatal and serious injury crashes in the country. Other reasons included community support for a speed review and to ensure safe and consistent permanent speed limits from the eastern approach to the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound.


Between September and October 2019, Waka Kotahi consulted on a safe and appropriate speed limit for SH1 through Waihola.

Waka Kotahi is always looking for ways to improve the safety of our roads. On some roads we’re doing this with safety improvements such as rumble strips and safety barriers. For this highway a lower speed limit was the best option.

There’s been consistent support from the local community and Waka Kotahi transport partners including the Clutha District Council, for a speed limit review on this section of SH1.

Some members of the community have told us the current speed limit is too high to be safe. Locals said a large number of trucks use the highway, and they are worried about the safety of older residents and school children crossing the highway. The also spoke about near-misses where drivers have been trying to access the highway from side roads or from car parks. Our priority is to make this road safer, so everyone gets to where they are going safely and reliably.

Permanent speed limits

The following speed limit was proposed during consultation and has been set as the new permanent speed limit from Monday, 5 October 2020.

Location Current speed limit New speed limit
SH1 Waihola
From 80m north of Titri Road to 60m south of Castle Street
70km/h 50km/h

SH1 Waihola speed review map

Investigation and evidence

When determining the proposed speed limit that we consulted on, we reviewed the speeds that people are currently driving at on this road. The average speed through Waihola with a 70km/h speed limit in place varied between 65–69km/h.

A speed limit of 50km/h was assessed to be the safe and appropriate speed for this road.

Other factors we considered in setting this limit were the increasing amounts of traffic especially large trucks using this road, and the town’s growing population that has seen more residential developments underway or planned.

We heard many residents must cross this busy highway to reach local businesses and recreational areas. We know that children and some elderly residents find the highway difficult to cross. Another factor we considered was highway access. Several locals talked to us about near misses involving drivers trying to access the highway from side roads and car parks.

Crash history

Between 2009 and 2018 there were 10 crashes on this section of highway. One person was seriously injured. There are hazards such as more trucks driving through the town, and local school pupils and staff who have to cross the highway to use recreational facilities at nearby Lake Waihola.

Travel times

The new permanent speed limits will have minimal impact on travel times. Over this 1km section of highway it will increase the travel time for drivers by approximately seven seconds.

Consultation and submissions

Public consultation closed at 5pm on Monday, 7 October 2019.

158 submissions were received during the consultation period from stakeholder organisations and the public.

Consultation summary report [PDF, 1.6 MB]
Consultation submissions [PDF, 2.3 MB]

How speed reviews work

More information about speed and the speed review process is available on the Speed Review Programme webpage.