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SH73/SH75 Christchurch to Akaroa and SH74 Lyttelton speed review

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Project introduction

New safer speed limits are coming for SH73 and SH75 from Christchurch to Akaroa, on some local side roads and on SH74 at Norwich Quay/Gladstone Quay in Lyttelton. The date the new speed limits apply will be advertised soon and the changes will be introduced around late July/early August 2022.

  • Project type

    Speed review

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New safer speeds on State Highway SH73/75, SH74 and Banks Peninsula local roads

New speed limits on roads between Christchurch and Akaroa will make travel a much safer and more enjoyable experience for locals and visitors alike, whether people are driving, riding motorcycles, cycling or walking.

People told us they felt unsafe turning at intersections, pulling out of driveways, crossing the road to catch the bus and they were concerned for children on bikes. As well as safer speed limits, we’ll be taking steps to support a safer environment for everyone using the road.

Background

Waka Kotahi and Christchurch City Council consulted with the public and stakeholders in November-December 2021, on safe and appropriate speeds for:

  • State Highway 73 and State Highway 75 between Christchurch and Akaroa.
  • Side roads and settlements between Motukarara and Takamatua.
  • State Highway 74 Norwich Quay/Gladstone Quay in Lyttelton.

A small change in speed on these routes will make a big difference to the outcome of a crash and the people involved.

SH73 in Christchurch is a busy urban corridor, while SH75 south of Halswell passes through many rural townships and intersections, school zones, open road and constrained hilly areas, with no separation of traffic travelling in opposite directions. SH74 at Lyttelton is a thoroughfare for freight to and from the port, and people walking and cycling.

In the last decade there have been 739 crashes on SH73 and SH75*. Nine people were killed and 72 people suffered serious injuries in these crashes, leaving families grieving and many people with potentially life-long injuries.

The best thing we can do to prevent people from dying or being seriously injured is to ensure speed limits are safe and right for the road, especially on state highways where pedestrians and cyclists mix with general traffic. 

Following a joint community consultation process, our partner Christchurch City Council is deciding new speed limits on some side roads adjoining the highway from Motukarara through to Takamatua. The proposed speeds also align with local road speed changes introduced in 2021 on Banks Peninsula.

*On SH73/75 over the period 2011-2020, data extracted August 2021 from the Crash Analysis System (CAS).

New safer speed limits are coming

Waka Kotahi has decided on the safe and appropriate highway speeds and the legal process to change the speed limits will be completed on 11 May 2022.

Four weeks of advertising will give people advance notice of the date the new speed limits apply which will be confirmed soon – likely late July or early August, subject to supply and winter construction conditions.

Local police will be in the area when the new speeds come into effect in the weeks following and there will be electronic signs to help remind drivers.

Until then, existing speed limits will apply. Once the signs are installed, drivers will be required to comply with the new speed limits.

The details of the new permanent speed limits are:

State Highways 73/75 Christchurch to Akaroa, State Highway 74 Norwich Quay/Gladstone Quay, Lyttelton

State highway

Approximate location

Existing speed limit

New speed limit

SH73

105m south of Blenheim Road to 85m southeast of Lunns Road

70km/h

60km/h

SH73/75

85m southeast of Lunns Road to 130m northwest of Halswell Road

100km/h

60km/h

SH75

130m northwest of Halswell Road to 90m southwest of Augustine Drive

50km/h

50km/h

SH75

90m southwest of Augustine Drive to 230m northeast of Dunbars Road

80km/h

60km/h

SH75

230m northeast of Dunbars Road to 260m south of Candys Road (Halswell Township)

60km/h

50km/h

SH75

370m south of Sparks Road to 90m southwest of O’Halloran Drive (Halswell School)

40VSL

30VSL*

SH75

260m south of Candys Road to 210m northeast of Lincoln Tai Tapu Road (Halswell to Tai Tapu)

100km/h

80km/h

SH75

210m northeast of Lincoln Tai Tapu Road to 360m south of Michaels Road (Tai Tapu Township)

50km/h

50km/h

SH75

70m south of Lincoln Tai Tapu Road to 80m northwest of Michaels Road (Tai Tapu School)

50km/h

30VSL*

SH75

360m south of Michaels Road to 200m southwest of Morrisons Road (Tai Tapu to Little River)

100km/h

80km/h

SH75

200m southwest of Morrisons Road to 260m northeast of Western Valley Road (Little River Township)

60km/h

50km/h

SH75

260m northeast of Western Valley Road to 440m west of Church Road (Little River to Wairewa Marae, including marae)

100km/h

50km/h

SH75

440m west of Church Road to 680m northeast of Church Road (Wairewa Marae to Cooptown)

100km/h

80km/h

SH75

680m northeast of Church Road to 180m northeast of Mersey Street (Cooptown Township)

70km/h

60km/h

SH75

180m northeast of Mersey Street to 650m west of Pawsons Valley Road (Cooptown to Duvauchelle)

100km/h

60km/h

SH75

650m west of Pawsons Valley Road to 180m southeast of Pipers Valley Road (Duvauchelle Township)

70km/h

60km/h

SH75

180m southeast of Pipers Valley Road to 980m north of Takamatua Bay Road (Duvauchelle to Takamatua Straight)

100km/h

60km/h

SH75

980m north of Takamatua Bay Road to 570m north of Long Bay Road (Takamatua Straight)

100km/h

60km/h**

SH75

570m north of Long Bay Road to 310m west of Rue Jolie (Takamatua Straight to Akaroa Threshold)

100km/h

60km/h

SH75

310m west of Rue Jolie to the end of State Highway 75 (Akaroa threshold to end of SH75)

50km/h

40km/h

SH74

40m west of Dublin Street to the end of State Highway 74 (Norwich Quay/Gladstone Quay – Lyttelton)

50km/h

40km/h

* Electronic Variable Speed Limit school zone signs display an enforceable speed limit that can be activated during peak school traffic times. The school zone speed limit may operate from 35 minutes before school until the start of school, and from 20 minutes at the end of school, beginning no earlier than 5 minutes before the end of school. It may also operate for 10 minutes at any other time when vehicles are entering or leaving school grounds or there is pedestrian or cycle activity on the road outside school. When the school zone is active, the speed limit is 30km/h and will be displayed on an electronic sign. At all other times, the speed limit is 50km/h.

** We consulted on 60km/h and 80km/h at Takamatua Straight and asked people for more feedback to help us with our final decision because our technical evidence supported both speed limits safely. We decided on 60km/h as this meets people’s requests for consistent speeds and will reduce the risk of near-misses people have reported at the intersection of Takamatua Valley Road/SH75 and there are cyclists and pedestrians around. 60km/h is also more aligned with the 40km/h on local side roads at Takamatua.

New safer speed limits map

View larger map [PDF, 759 KB]

Investigation and evidence

The decision to set new permanent speed limits began with a technical assessment of the highways which considered factors such as crash data, the road characteristics, traffic volumes and the speeds people are currently driving at.

We engaged with our iwi partners, stakeholders and the community in mid-2021 to understand people’s views about current speeds and where they felt unsafe.

Using the technical assessment and engagement feedback, we proposed new safer speed limits in conjunction with Christchurch City Council and formally consulted on these in late 2021.

Submissions were received from stakeholder organisations and the public on the proposed speed limit changes for both the state highways and local roads.

We considered this feedback carefully, and changes have been made - such as through Little River, past Wairewa Marae and at Takamatua.

Crash history and causes

Between 2011 and 2020 there were 739 reported crashes on SH73/75 and SH74. Nine people were killed and 72 seriously injured.
Lower permanent speed limits are needed to reduce the number of crashes resulting in people being killed and suffering serious injuries.

As a result of engagement earlier this year we have prepared a resource to help people understand the types of crashes people are having from Christchurch to Akaroa.

SH73, 75 and SH74 Christchurch to Akaroa and Lyttelton speed review crash causes [PDF, 2 MB]

The causes of a crash do not change the fact that speed is the single biggest factor that determines if a person is killed in or survives a crash.

If we are aiming for a future where no-one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes, and to change how we think about our transport system, it helps to understand the situation on this road currently.

Speed is just one part of improving road safety

A safe transport system recognises people make mistakes and is designed so these mistakes don’t cost us our lives. Safer speed on our roads is one part of creating a safe system, and right now, ensuring speed limits are appropriate for this road environment is the quickest and most effective way we can save lives.

But we know there are other changes people want to see.

To reach our Road to Zero target, Waka Kotahi has five focus areas, including infrastructure and speed, vehicle safety, work-related road safety, road user choices and system management.

On SH73/75, Waka Kotahi has begun a three-year programme of renewing nearly 30km of road surface has begun.  To support the new safe speeds, we will be adding some new signage, improving existing signage as well as painting new and enhancing existing line markings on the highway which all helps to create a safer road environment.

In the next couple of years, guardrail side protection to help prevent run-off road crashes will be installed at some high-risk locations along The Hilltop where there are steep drop-offs, and the highway is particularly windy. The scope and extent of this work is being investigated and will be subject to constructability, funding and confirming an appropriate mix of treatments (rumble strips and line marking).

In addition, a range of safety and resilience improvements along SH75, at locations mostly between Cooptown and Duvauchelle, have been identified and are in the pipeline. These could include installation of rumble strips and more guardrail along The Hilltop as well as opportunities for safe passing. This work is subject to feasibility, timing, and funding approvals.

Waka Kotahi is also looking into the feasibility of a shared use path for people walking and cycling between Little River and Cooptown.

Safer speed limits making a difference in the South Island

We’ve seen a noticeable drop in the number of crashes on a similar rural highway corridor, since safer speeds were introduced.

Between Blenheim and Nelson, the benefits of safer speeds are reaching home – no has been killed on SH6 between December 2020 when safer speeds were introduced and May 2022.

While these positive results are early indicators, the reduction in crashes and casualties are very encouraging.

Some people who use the road regularly tell us it is a more enjoyable drive since the speed limits were reduced, with driver frustration, risky overtaking and longer travel times not proving to be significant issues.

Zero deaths following speed lowering on Blenheim to Nelson highway (Stuff, 7 January 2022)(external link)

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about the permanent speed limits on SH73/75 and SH74 by reading the frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions

Consultation and submissions

Formal consultation on new speed limit proposals closed on 3 December 2021.

Across the four-week joint consultation period a total of 670 submissions were received from stakeholder organisations and the public.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback.

View our consultation summary and submissions [PDF, 1 MB]

Speed review process

We announced our decision on speed limits on 11 May 2022 the date the new speeds apply will be advertised soon.

Subscribe to updates if you would like to be notified of the date the new speed limits apply.

Subscribe to updates(external link)

For new local road speeds, please visit www.ccc.govt.nz/speed-limits(external link)

How speed reviews work

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

Speed Review programme

Our partners on this project