NZTA has been accused of "dragging it's heels" taking speed limits around Auckland's Waterview Tunnel back to 100km/h, but the transport agency says it has progressed the change as quickly as possible.

In September NZTA announced the speed limit on sections of State Highways 16 and 20 around the Waterview Tunnel would go back up to 100km/h, after being lowered to 80km/h when the tunnel was built.

Thousands of motorists have been slapped with speeding tickets during trips through the tunnel since cameras went live on August 31.

Nearly $1 million worth of tickets were issued to motorists within six weeks of the tunnel's opening.


Brett Gliddon, the Transport Agency's System Design Manager, said the process to implement new "variable" speed limits around the tunnel was underway. The new limits allowed maximum speeds of 100km/h but would be dependent on driving conditions and traffic at the time.

"The first stage is expected to be in place in the first quarter of next year," Gliddon said.

"Until the legal process is completed the speed limit remains 80km/h."

But a Hamilton man who spearheaded a petition calling on the Transport Agency to increase the speed limit called the timeframe "lengthy".

Bradley Scales' petition on the Change.Org website attracted close to 14,000 signatures.

While he was thrilled at the Transport Agency's initial promises of change, he's now disappointed at how long it's taking to come into force.

"I feel as if they're dragging their heels a bit."

Scales said while he didn't regularly use that motorway anymore, it was still disheartening to watch the delays.


"I can see the frustration faced by other motorists who travel that road frequently.

"The width of the road makes it feel so slow, and that makes people naturally travel faster," Scales said.

In September Gliddon told the Herald the decision to change to the higher speed limit was made partially because of feedback from drivers.

Transport Agency had also taken into account authorities' monitoring of operational and safety performance on the state highways around the tunnel.

Gliddon said signage and gantries to accommodate signs needed to be installed on the motorway, and a legal process completed before the new speed limits were put in place.