The government agency in charge of state highways is considering another tranche of speed limit reductions across Northland as part of a nationwide drive to reduce the road toll.
No consultation dates have been set as yet but the stretches of highway up for review include high crash-rate areas such as State Highway 1 between Kawakawa and Whangārei, and Whangārei to the Auckland boundary, and SH11 between Kawakawa and Paihia.
Other sections of SH1 and SH11 were consulted on in 2019 with new limits coming into force last August.
Also up for review are SH1 from Kaitaia to Pukenui, SH10 from Taipā to Pakaraka, and the full length of SH15 and SH12.
Steve Mutton, regional relationships director for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, said he was keen to hear what people thought were the appropriate speed limits on ''unique'' stretches of Northland's state highway network.
Highways up for review:
■ SH1 Kaitaia to Pukenui
■ SH1 Kawakawa to Whangārei
■ SH1 Whangārei to Auckland boundary
■ SH10 Pakaraka to Taipā
■ SH11 Kawakawa to Paihia
■ SH12 Brynderwyn to Ōmāpere
■ SH12 Ōmāpere to Kaikohe
■ SH15 between SH1 (north of Kaikohe) and Otaika
In coming months the agency would invite Northlanders to join a conversation about current speed limits and to share concerns and local knowledge about how the roads were used.
''Ensuring we have the right speed for each unique part of our state highway network is key to saving lives and working towards our vision of a New Zealand where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads,'' Mutton said.
''By working to deliver a safe system, we're protecting people by acknowledging that even responsible people can make mistakes on our roads, but that these mistakes should not cost us our lives.''
While speed was just one cause among many of crashes in Northland, it was the single biggest factor determining whether someone survived a crash or walked away unharmed.
''Communities have an important role to play in contributing to discussions about making their roads safer, and we encourage people to give us their feedback," he said.
"This helps us decide if we have safe speeds on our roads, if a change is required to better reflect how a community uses their roads, where new speed limits could begin or end, and if any other safety improvements might be needed.''
As part of the drive to create safer roads NZTA was spending $21.5 million upgrading high-risk intersections at Kawakawa, Puketona and Rāwene. A PGF-funded upgrade of Waipapa roundabout is nearing completion.
A $792m four-lane corridor was also planned between Whangārei and Port Marsden Highway. It would include a continuous median barrier to stop vehicles crossing the centre line.
The latest tranche of speed reviews follows consultation in 2019 on three other stretches of highway — on SH10 (Taipā to Awanui), SH11 (Puketona to Haruru), and SH1 (Moerewa to Kawakawa).
In that case the proposal to reduce the limit from 100km/h to 80km/h between Moerewa and Kawakawa went ahead, though locals didn't get the 50km/h limit on the infamous Three Bridges some had been calling for.
The proposed 80km/h limit on SH11 from Puketona to Haruru was extended through to Paihia with a 60km/h limit in the built-up area of Haruru.
A proposal to drop the speed limit on SH10 from Taipā to Awanui, however, was shelved — to the delight of some motorists and the dismay of Kaingaroa residents campaigning for lower speeds. They are now working with Waka Kotahi on other road-safety options.
■ Dates and locations of speed review information sessions will be announced in the coming months. Formal consultation about proposed speed-limit changes will be the next part of the process, after initial feedback has been considered.