10 Nov 2016

110kmh speed limit likely for some NZ roads

6:26 pm on 10 November 2016

The government has cleared the path for a speed limit of 110km/h on some New Zealand roads.

Under the proposed new guidelines, for a road to be eligible for a 110km/h limit, it would need to meet very strict conditions, including a median barrier, at least two lanes in each direction and no direct access to neighbouring properties.

The Automobile Association said parts of the Auckland motorway, the Waikato and Kapiti expressways, the Transmission Gully motorway and the Tauranga Eastern link could be considered for the speed limit rises.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss unveiled a new Speed Management Guide today.

He said the guide would combine a wide range of information to help councils, the New Zealand Transport Agency and other road controlling authorities decide where and when to make safety improvements or changes to speed limits.

"New Zealand roads are unique and conditions vary from towns to cities, north to south. The guide strongly encourages community involvement as local knowledge and perspectives, backed by the information and data provided in the guide, will help ensure the best possible safety results.

"Changes made under the guide may include altering road design, lowering speed limits, or in certain circumstances, raising them."

He said the guide would ensure all road authorities were making sound, evidence-based decisions, with an emphasis on safety.

Speed changes 'playing with fire' - Labour

Labour transport spokesperson Stuart Nash said a danger could be that people would go even faster than 110km/h.

"What happens in people's minds is they go 'Well 110 is the limit, I can drive at 115 and get away with it'.

"So they go off the Auckland Motorway and they go onto a road where the speed limit's 100, they're still travelling at 110 because that's been the speed limit for the last hour, and I just think we're playing with fire and we're playing with the lives of Kiwis."

Consultation on the changes will begin early next year.