Hawke's Bay motorists eager to take advantage of a Hastings District Council change of heart over reduced speed limits on some of the district's rural roads will have to wait more than two months before they can put their foot down on the accelerator.

The council voted this week to reinstate 100km/h limits on a number of rural roads which were reduced to 80km/h earlier this year.

The reduced speed areas were introduced in a bid to improve safety on what were seen as dangerous country roads and the changes followed a consultative process begun in late 2013.

But there was an outcry from drivers once the lower limits came into effect, prompting the council to hold a second round of consultation which culminated with two days of hearings .


At a council meeting on Thursday, councillors ratified recommendations from the hearings committee to return the speed limit to 100km/h on a number of the roads, along with two other sections of road where an increase had not been recommended.

But the lead-footed drivers need to note that the current sign-posted 80km/h limits remain in place until Sunday, February 1.

"The signage will be changed on that day," Hastings District Council transportation manager Jag Pannu said yesterday.

And drivers who hit 100km/h on the stretches of road in question won't get any sympathy from police if they're caught breaking the current 80km/h speed limits.

Motorists wondering if tickets issued in the reduced limit zones this year will be refunded are also out of luck, Mr Pannu says. "The existing speed limits were set by councillors at their meeting in January and will remain lawful until they are changed next year."