Last updated: 15 May 2023

Variable speed limit

  •   Why are you changing the school variable speed limit?

    Our vision is an Aotearoa New Zealand where our roads and streets are safe to drive to work and home, to visit whānau and friends. Where we can ride bikes and let tamariki walk to school. A future where our land transport system improves our health and wellbeing, creating liveable and inclusive places for our communities.

    Together, we can make this vision a reality. Along with local councils and iwi, we’re reviewing speed limits across the motu to help us achieve a land transport system where everyone is looked after, no matter how they travel.

    By lowering speed limits around schools and kura our tamariki can get around safely in ways that are good for their health and the environment.

    We’re reducing speeds around all schools in Aotearoa New Zealand to empower our younger generations to thrive and have the freedom to walk, bus or bike to school and kura. Our approach considers the surrounding area of a school, to look after tamariki travelling further than the streets outside the front gate.

    The school variable speed limit (VSL) on SH60 in Motueka was reviewed as part of the wider Motueka township speed review in 2021.

    The new Setting of Speed Limits 2022 Rule requires road controlling authorities (Waka Kotahi and our local Government partners) to make reasonable efforts to reduce speed limits to around 40% of schools and kura by 2024.  For these schools and kura, most speed limits will drop to 30km/h, and in a small number of cases they will reduce to 60km/h.

    Speed limit changes can now be made independently of design and infrastructure changes, which will help increase the pace of implementing safe speeds around schools and kura. Monitoring and evaluation will help to identify if further speed management interventions are needed over the medium term to reduce operating speeds further.

    The opportunity for safe active travel to school and kura is important for healthy communities, and helps meet local and national government objectives, as well as the Road to Zero principles.  

  •   How does the school variable speed limit work?

    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.

  •   When was public consultation completed?

    In late 2021, we consulted with stakeholders and the public on safe and appropriate speed limits for High Street on SH60 in Motueka. This included a proposed change to the existing school variable speed limit. The consultation summary is available:

    SH60 High Street Motueka speed review summary report [PDF, 554 KB]

    Making changes to speed limits is a legal process. Road Controlling Authorities (RCAs) are responsible for setting new speed limits and need to adhere to the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of the RCAs for reviewing and setting speed limits. For state highways, Waka Kotahi is the RCA, and for local roads, councils are the RCA.

    This speed review was consulted under the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017 and is being completed under the transitional provisions of the Setting of Speed Limits 2022 Rule.

    More information on the speed review process Waka Kotahi follows when setting new speed limits on our state highways can be found here:

    Speed review process


Roundabout changes

  •   Why are changes being made to the roundabout?

    We are making improvements to make the crossings safer for everyone who uses them. This follows the results of a routine safety audit which identified additional changes are needed to ensure the roundabout is as safe as possible for everyone, particularly people walking across the road. We have been monitoring the roundabout since it was built and have identified that relocating the pedestrian crossings 12-20 metres away from the roundabout will ensure people using the crossings are more visible to people in vehicles, particularly trucks. The pedestrian crossings will be on raised platforms to ensure people approaching the crossings in vehicles slow down to a safe speed. The raised platforms will also make people crossing the road more visible.

  •   Why are the changes underway so quickly?

    We have a crew ready to go on these changes and that can have them completed by early-December 2022. We acknowledge we have not provided much notice for these works. We paused the project during the recent Nelson/Tasman emergency event recovery to make sure we opened State Highway 6 as soon as possible. We now have enough crews to complete this work and the rest of the recovery work and upcoming programmed summer maintenance work.

  •   What changes are going to be made?

    The key changes are relocating the pedestrian crossings 9-12 metres away from the roundabout and placing the crossings on raised platforms. We are also changing the finish of the shoulders at the roundabout from white paint to cobbles (which is what is used for the centre of the roundabout).

  •   How will each of these changes make the intersection safer?

    The changes will make it easier for people driving vehicles to see people using the crossings, as they are further away from the roundabout and on raised platforms. The cobbles will narrow the approach to the roundabout and therefore manage the speed of vehicles entering and exiting the roundabout.

  •  Will placing the crossings further away from the roundabout still make it safe?

    Having crossings closer to a roundabout is often safer because vehicles are moving at lower speeds. However due to the size of this roundabout, several blind spots have been identified which means it will be safer for the crossings to sit further away from the roundabout. The raised platforms will make people crossing the road more visible and will also help reduce speeds people are travelling as they enter the roundabout. The revised design carefully balances the need to have the crossings close to where people will naturally use them, with the need to keep the crossings outside of the truck blind spots.

  •  Why are the crossings placed on raised platforms?

    Raised pedestrian crossings are a standard safety intervention that is increasingly being delivered across New Zealand. Having the pedestrian crossings on raised platforms helps reduce vehicle speeds, significantly reducing the harm for someone if a crash were to occur. By placing the crossings on raised platforms, people crossing the road are also more visible to vehicles. Raised pedestrian crossings are a standard safety intervention that is increasingly being delivered across New Zealand.


Safety improvements

  •   Why are you delivering these safety improvements?

    These safety improvements will ensure everyone who uses High Street can get to where they are going safely when they are driving through or visiting Motueka’s bustling town centre. High Street is a busy road with lots of people driving, walking and cycling through the area. By making the intersections safer with a roundabout and signals and replacing the existing zebra crossings on High Street near Wallace Street with signals, everyone will be able to get to where there going more safely. These changes will also help traffic flow better during busy times and make it easier for people to enter High Street from side streets.

    In 2017, we started investigating safety and journey time reliability improvements on SH60 High Street. At this time, we sought the community’s feedback on the proposed improvements, and we have used this feedback to refine the safety improvements we will be delivering along this stretch of road.

  •   What is a raised roundabout?

    We are 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 pedestrian zebra crossings) will be raised, with a gradual ramp onto the roundabout. The raised element encourages safer speeds and improves visibility of people walking across the road or cycling through the intersection. It is a treatment increasingly being used to improve safety through intersections and at pedestrian crossings. A raised roundabout at this location will help to reduce speeds, making it easier for drivers to choose the right time to enter flowing traffic. The raised platform design of the intersection is the preferred option as it provides the best outcomes for everyone moving through the intersection.

  •   How steep will the raised roundabout and ramps be?

    The ramps onto and off the roundabout will have a gradient of 1:30 (3%). This gradient will ensure vehicles travel through the roundabout at the appropriate speed for the environment. Raising the roundabout and the approaches to the roundabout make it physically uncomfortable to drive over the platform fast. The aim is to ensure people are driving through the intersection at a safe speed, to reduce the risk of harm from side-on crashes and to make it safer for those walking and cycling.

  •   Why are you including pedestrian zebra crossing at the four approaches to the roundabout?

    The roundabout will have pedestrian zebra crossings on each approach to the roundabout to allow people to safely cross the road. The pedestrian zebra crossings will be at the same level of the footpath, making it easier for everyone to cross.

    Some members of the community, including local schools and parents have told us that the crossings will make it safer for children to walk to school and to the recreation centre on Old Wharf Road.

    This intersection and the surrounding roads are less busy than the town centre. At this location, zebra crossings are the most appropriate crossing facility as they are more safe than pedestrian refuges and there are currently not enough people crossing the road to require signals.

  •   Will the traffic signals be synchronised to ensure they do not add to congestion while trying to get through High Street?

    The signalised intersections will also help traffic flow better during busy 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 that people driving through High Street can get to where they are going by managing the phasing of traffic lights so that there is an appropriate balance of efficiency for both local and through-traffic. It is important we seek the right balance for the safety of everyone including those walking across the road to visit the town centre and businesses on High Street.

    The pedestrian signals will operate as green for traffic until someone wants to cross and pushes the pedestrian crossing button. The traffic signal will then cycle through to red to stop traffic and provide a green pedestrian crossing signal for people to cross. The pedestrian signal will be synchronised to the Tudor St/ High Street and Pah / Greenwood / High Street signals. All signals are controlled by a specialised traffic signal optimisation software (SCATS) and monitored from Wellington Traffic Operations Centre (WTOC).

  •   How do the safety improvements make it safer for people cycling?

    Improving the safety for people walking and cycling and encourage more people to get around without a car, is important to Waka Kotahi. We will paint advanced stop boxes at all of the new signals so that cyclists can move away more safely when the signal changes to green. However, the scope of the current Motueka safety improvements project does not include on-road or separated cycle lanes due to space constraints in this built-up area. The roundabout will be a raised intersection that will significantly slow drivers down so that on-road cyclists can take the lane more safely. If crossing at any of the four roundabout legs, cyclists will also be able to dismount and use the zebra crossings. Shortly, the Tasman District Council will be engaging on their Walking and Cycling Strategy that will look at the longer-term plans for the Tasman region, including Motueka.



Bypass and Motueka Bridge

  •   Why is a bypass not being constructed?

    Our priority is making the current road safer for all road users, so that High Street is easier and safer for people walking and cycling through the town centre and crossing the street. We are also focused on improving the traffic flow for those traveling through or turning into or out of the side streets onto High Street. A Motueka Transport Study completed in 2010 recommended that a number of short to medium term improvements could be implemented on Motueka High Street ahead of longer-term considerations, such as a bypass around Motueka. While a bypass for Motueka is not part of the scope of this project, a bypass may be delivered in the future. At this point in time it has been determined that it is not a priority.

  •   Are there any plans to improve the Motueka bridge?

    Improving the bridge is not within the project scope and we currently do not have any funding for this work. Constructing the safety improvements on High Street does not preclude any bridge improvements being delivered in the future if funding were to become available.