Project introduction

In August 2020, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency received $6.8 million as part of the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to deliver safety upgrades to Motueka High Street on State Highway 60 (SH60).

  • Project type

    Safety improvements
  • Project status


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Motueka variable speed limit update

Tamariki and whānau travelling to and from school in Motueka will feel safer with a change to the variable school speed limit on State Highway 60, High Street.

From Monday 22 May 2023, the existing 40km/h school variable speed limit will change to 30km/h during peak school times. Outside peak school times a 50km/h speed limit will apply.

Variable speed limits are an enforceable speed limit when activated during peak school times. This variable speed limit will operate from 8.25-9am and 2.55-3.15pm during school term. It may also operate at other times when there are school-related vehicle or pedestrian activities. When the variable speed limit is active, the speed limit is 30km/h and is displayed on an electronic sign. At all other times, the speed limit is 50km/h.

Change for the variable speed limit on SH60 High Street Motueka


Investigations and engagement – 2017

In 2017, we started investigations about potential short- or medium-term improvements to safety and journey time reliability on the stretch of State Highway 60 that passes through the Motueka town centre.

We shared different proposals with the community, business owners and interested groups.

The proposals focused on the following key areas:

  • Make it safer for pedestrians crossing High Street
  • Make traffic flow better along High Street
  • Make it easier to turn in and out of side roads along High Street
  • Improve safety for all road users.

We received more than 250 responses from individuals, stakeholders, organisations and interest groups.

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

SH60 Motueka public engagement summary report – August 2017 [PDF, 3.4 MB]

Funding received – 2020

In late August 2020, we received $6.8 million as part of the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to deliver safety upgrades to Motueka High Street on SH60.

The investment will help upgrade the road with intersection improvements and pedestrian crossing signals.

In November and December 2020, we completed further investigations to refine the safety upgrades. This included surveying the road and digging test pits to understand the ground conditions, and service providers marking underground services with paint on the surface of the road. This work helped inform the designs of the safety improvements for this road.

Sharing designs with community – 2021

In April 2021, we shared the safety improvement designs with the community and asked for feedback on particular elements of the designs.

SH60 Motueka public engagement summary report – April 2021 [PDF, 349 KB]

What we delivered

After receiving feedback from the community, we have reviewed our designs and have made some changes. Click on the headings below to view maps, which also include our planting plans.

  • New roundabout at the King Edward Street and Old Wharf Road intersection

    We will be constructing a roundabout to improve access onto State Highway 60 at the King Edward Street and Old Wharf Road intersection.

    The roundabout will improve safety for everyone using the road. It will have pedestrian zebra crossings on each approach to the roundabout to allow people to safely cross the road.

    The whole King Edward Street and Old Wharf Road intersection (roundabout and zebra crossings) will be raised, with a gradual ramp onto and exiting the roundabout.

    The raised element encourages safer speeds and improves visibility of pedestrians and cyclists. It is a treatment increasingly being used to improve safety through intersections and at pedestrian crossings.

    The zebra crossings will be at the same level of the footpath, making it easier for people to navigate the intersection.

    The zebra crossings will be set approximately 6 metres back from roundabout. There are three key safety reasons for this position:

    • It ensures pedestrians are visible to people driving through the roundabout
    • It ensures the crossing points are located where people would naturally cross the road, therefore reducing the likelihood of jaywalking, and
    • It will mean vehicles will not have picked up speed while exiting the roundabout before reaching the zebra crossing.

    Raised roundabout at King Edward Street and Old Wharf Road intersection

  • Two signalised intersections and one signalised pedestrian crossings

    Three sets of signals will be provided on High Street at the following locations:  

    • Traffic signals will be installed at the Tudor/High Street intersection, and the existing zebra crossing just north of this intersection will be removed.
    • Pedestrian signals will be installed on High Street north of Wallace Street, along with a right turn bay into Wallace Street. At this location we will also be removing the existing zebra crossing.
    • Traffic signals will be installed at the Pah/Greenwood/High Street intersection, and the existing zebra crossing on High Street, just south of the Pah/Greenwood/High Street intersection will be removed.

    High Street is a busy road with lots of people driving, walking and riding through the area. By replacing the existing zebra crossings with signalised crossings, we will help people move more safely across the road. The signalised intersections will also help traffic flow better during peak times and make it easier for people to enter High Street from side streets.

    We understand there are many people using High Street as a through-road to get to other parts of the Tasman, West Coast and Nelson region. We will ensure there are still efficiencies to the road network by managing the phasing of traffic lights to ensure an appropriate balance of efficiency for both local and through-traffic. It is important we seek the right balance for the safety of all road users including those walking across the road to visit the town centre and businesses on High Street.

    Tudor/High Streets intersection

    High Street north of Wallace Street

    Pah/Greenwood/High Streets intersection

  • Speed review

    We want everyone who uses our roads to get home safely. Most crashes are caused by a number of contributing factors, but even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed. A small reduction in speed can make a big difference, especially when cyclists or pedestrians are involved.

    In 2017 we spoke with the community about speed limit changes on this road. As some time has passed, asked the community for further feedback on what they thought about current speed limits on SH60 High Street, from the Wharf Road roundabout to south of Staples Street.

    We are reviewing the feedback we received alongside our technical assessment and in the coming months we will come back to the community for formal consultation on proposed speed limit changes.

    Engagement summary (includes feedback on High Street speed limits) [PDF, 349 KB]

    SH60 existing speed limits


Further changes

  • Cycle lane markings

    To ensure the safety of cyclists on High Street and at intersections we will provide safe stopping space in front of vehicle traffic (known as advanced stop boxes). This makes cyclists more visible to motorists and gives cyclist a physical head-start at the start of the green phase and safe opportunities to change lanes during the red phase. 

    The advanced stop boxes will be provided at both signalised intersections and signalised pedestrian crossing locations.

  • On-street parking

    Improving safety at intersections and pedestrian crossings will mean removing some on-street parking. Parking spaces will be removed on High, Tudor, Greenwood and Pah Streets to accommodate the new signalised intersections. The removal of some on-street parking will affect where current mobility, bicycle, loading zone and motorcycle parking is located.

    As part of this project we will also be ensuring that directional signage for side street carparking areas will be more visible to those unfamiliar with Motueka.

    Parking will also be removed on Old Wharf Road to accommodate the roundabout.

  • Trees

    When we recently spoke to the community about the safety improvements, we heard some community members were concerned about the proposed removal of some of the trees on High Street

    In light of this, we have further reviewed our designs and we are able to keep five trees that were going to be removed.

    We still need to remove some trees to allow enough space to install the new traffic signals. These trees are in the road reserve space and we need this space for the turning lanes at the intersections, to help drivers turn right.

    We have carefully thought about the removal of these trees. Unfortunately, without removing some of the trees, we cannot make the intersections any safer for people walking and driving, or enable people to easily access the High Street from the side streets

    As part of the project, we will plant nine new trees in planter boxes, and several low-level native planting beds in various locations along High Street and at the intersections. We are also investigating planting a Titoki tree in a new tree pit near the vicinity of Bowater Toyota on High Street. The Titoki tree has been selected as it suits the urban environment.

    We will plant Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa cultivars) and Titoki (Alectryon excelsus) in the planter boxes.  It’s important to note, we may need to substitute the species of tree in the planter boxes for an alternative species if the Pohutukawa or Titoki species are not available. We will let the community know if happens. Alternative species that could be selected are: Broadleaf lime tree (Tilia platyphyllos); Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus); or Golden Elm (Ulmus glabra ‘Lutescens’).

    In addition to the safety improvements within this project, the Tasman District Council will be progressing a wider plan to improve the urban form of Motueka township in the coming few years. It is expected this work will consider a range of urban design and liveability aspects around the town centre including planting, parking, active travel, public transport, open spaces. This is a longer-term project, which the Council will work with the community on.


Further information

If the above information has not answered all your questions, please visit our frequently asked questions page or email us at the email address below.

Frequently asked questions