Taranaki speed reviews – SH45, SH44, SH3 and SH3A

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Project introduction

Waka Kotahi is reviewing speed limits on sections of State Highways 45, 44, 3 and 3A in Taranaki, where safer speed limits will make a big difference in preventing people being killed and seriously injured in crashes.

  • Project type

    Speed review

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Consultation on speed limits

Late last year we engaged with the local community, mana whenua, key stakeholders, councils and road user industry groups about the current speed limits on the following highways:

  • SH45 New Plymouth to Hāwera (Surf highway) SH44, SH45 and SH3 in urban New Plymouth
  • SH3A Sentry Hill to Inglewood
  • SH3 New Plymouth to Hāwera.

Between 14 November and 12 December 2022, we consulted on proposed changes to speed limits on some sections of highway, intersections and near schools across the region as part of the Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan. We’re considering feedback from this consultation alongside existing information to finalise the interim plan, and will share an update in early 2023.

Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan

Making Taranaki state highways safer

Waka Kotahi has been identifying roads where reviewing speed limits could make a big difference in preventing people being killed and seriously injured, and where communities are calling for change. 

This speed review focusses on:

  • SH45 New Plymouth to Hāwera  (Surf highway)
  • SH44, SH45 and SH3 in New Plymouth
  • SH3 New Plymouth to Hāwera
  • SH3A Sentry Hill to Inglewood.

The Taranaki region is situated in the central North Island.  It is somewhat isolated with State Highway 3 providing the key transport link for freight and tourism in and out of the region.  SH45 provides access to the coast and is used for more tourist-based trips.

With a population of around 123,000, the region has a strong export-based economy and is rapidly growing.  With that in mind Waka Kotahi’s primary focus for the region is on improving access, and on ensuring the regions highway network is resilient, safe and enables reliable journey times.

Taranaki also has a long history of road crashes, particularly on SH3 between Bell Block and Waitara, and on SH3 between New Plymouth and Hāwera and further south.

We would like to know what you think about the current speed limits on the state highways we are reviewing. Do the existing speed limits feel safe for the way that people use the road?  Do the existing speed limits affect your community?  What do you think would be a safe speed limit?

We want people to share their thoughts on speeds on these state highways, including around places like local schools, marae, businesses, homes and workplaces.

We want everyone who uses our roads to get to where they’re going safely. To save lives and prevent serious injuries, we can set safer speed limits.

  • The safety features of a road and the speed vehicles travel on it influence both the risk of a crash and whether it is survivable.
  • These roads are used for everything from commuting, to freight, to tourism and there are a variety of road users in the Taranaki region. Ensuring speeds are safe and appropriate helps to protect other road users including pedestrians and cyclists.
  • We need to adapt to changing road safety standards, which involves reviewing speed limits to ensure they continue to be appropriate for the road.

Taranaki speed reviews information sheet [PDF, 2.6 MB]

Project timeline

We’re not proposing any new speed limits at this stage of the review. All of the feedback we receive will be considered, alongside a technical assessment for the corridors. This information will then be used to propose any new speed limits, which we will then formally consult on with the community. We expect to be completing the consultation phase in early to mid-2022.

Project maps

Speed review areas and existing speed limits:

Community engagement

In 2021, we sought feedback on speeds on:

  • SH45 New Plymouth to Hāwera (Surf highway)
  • SH44, SH45 and SH3 in New Plymouth
  • SH3 New Plymouth to Hāwera
  • SH3A Sentry Hill to Inglewood.

This feedback will help us determine if a speed limit change will improve safety. Feedback closed on Monday 13 December 2021.

View our interactive map to see the feedback that was provided(external link)

Safety improvements New Plymouth to Egmont Village

Waka Kotahi is also proposing safety improvements on SH3 between New Plymouth and Egmont Village.

Investigations into improving the safety of this 9.75km stretch of highway began in 2018. Since then, we’ve been exploring improvement opportunities and speaking with those who could be directly affected.

Improvements being proposed include 8.35km of median barrier, roundabouts at Mangorei and Kent Roads, two other safe turning opportunities and removing right turns out of Junction Street.

Any changes to speed limits on this section of SH3 will be appropriate for the road after the infrastructure improvements have been made.

Find out more on the proposed safety improvements