Speed limit consultation

16 November 2022

Public consultation has opened on the Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan, which includes proposals to reduce speed limits in some areas.

LGNZ will be preparing a high-level submission that raises members’ concerns – we’ve set out some of these below, and would welcome your feedback. 

The consultation document sets out a vision, objectives, policies, and then gets into implementation plans for each region (which would be most appropriate for individual councils to comment on).  

LGNZ supports the vision for a “state highway network where no one is killed or seriously injured”, and the associated objectives. 

While we see some need for speed changes, we also see a need for a broader suite of changes, including infrastructure maintenance/renewals, driver education, investment in road safety signage, investment in campaigns around drunk driving/driving under the influence of drugs etc.  

We know members are concerned that reducing speeds shouldn’t be at the expense of investing in the maintenance of the network – and that there is genuine engagement with communities around appropriate speed limits rather than blanket approaches.  

Sensible speed reductions outside schools, marae and townships probably make sense. But speed restrictions in general need to be balanced against the ability to move people and freight – which is a core purpose of the state highway network.  

We also have concerns about congestion and travel times, particularly for people living in rural areas, where public transport is often not a viable alternative.  

We have some concerns that speed reductions are an overly simplistic approach that doesn’t address the underlying issue of the condition of the SH network. There’s a “maintenance mountain” that must be considered – and there must be an investment into safety improvements. Newer, and well-maintained, roads are safer roads.