Speed limits are set to drop next month on two busy Northland highways.
The affected roads are State Highway 10, from Puketona Junction to Paihia, and State Highway 1 between Kawakawa and Moerewa, including the infamous Three Bridges.
Speed limit cuts on SH10 between Awanui and Taipa, which were also part of the proposal put out for consultation last year, won't go ahead — but the NZ Transport Agency says it is still reviewing the limit on a shorter stretch of SH10 from Awanui to Kaingaroa.
The new limits are:
■ 80km/h (down from 100km/h) on SH10/Puketona Rd from Puketona Junction to Paihia, except the built-up area around Haruru Falls where the new limit will be 60km/h (down from 70km/h). The 60km/h limit will be extended to include the entrances to Wātea and Ash Grove housing developments, where the current limit is 100km/h.
■ 80km/h (down from 100km/h) on SH1 from Kawakawa (including the Three Bridges) to Taumatamakuku Settlement.
■ 50km/h (down from 70km/h) in Moerewa township, from east of Sir William Hale Cres to Leaity St.
The changes will come into effect on August 24.
The new speed limits on Puketona Rd will add about 12 seconds to journey times while driving from Kawakawa to Moerewa will take about 18 seconds longer.
NZTA regional relationships manager Steve Mutton said the new limits would help prevent deaths and serious injury. Fewer crashes would also mean fewer road closures, improving route reliability.
Mutton said there were 102 crashes on Puketona Rd, resulting in two deaths and 14 injuries, from 2009 to 2018.
During consultation many people said the current limits were unsafe, especially around residential developments at Wātea and Ash Grove Circle in Haruru.
Between Moerewa and Kawakawa, two people had been killed and six seriously injured in 43 crashes from 2009 to 2018, Mutton said.
The new 80km/h limit will also apply to Kawakawa's Three Bridges, where Kawakawa Business Association, Te Mirumiru early childhood centre and the town's police advisory group had been lobbying for lower speeds for years.
The flood-prone, three-humped bridge is narrow with poor visibility and offer motorists little warning of the change to 50km/h as they enter town.
Far North District councillor Kelly Stratford — who earlier described the bridges' current 100km/h limit as ''just ridiculous'' — said the new limits were a win for Kawakawa and Moerewa, and were backed by most people she had spoken to.
She also welcomed the speed reduction at Wātea, where residents currently had to pull out into 100km/h traffic with limited visibility.
For some, however, the reduction the Three Bridges does not go far enough.
Business association chairman Malcolm Francis said NZTA had paid lip service to public concerns about the bridge, where its own studies of that stretch of highway put the current average speed at 74km/h. That equated to a combined speed of 148km/h in a head-on crash.
''So this doesn't change diddly-squat. People will go on losing their lives.''
Francis called for a 50km/h limit on the bridge itself, then 80km/h the rest of the way to Moerewa.
Northland MP Matt King welcomed the new limits, saying it appeared NZTA had listened to the public.
His constituents had told him they didn't want a speed limit reduction between Taipa and Awanui, but they did want cuts at the Three Bridges and Haruru.
Radius Baycare resthome in Haruru had serious concerns about cars travelling past its entrance at 100km/h and wanted a 50km/h limit, but the new 60km/h limit was a major improvement, King said.
The NZTA will review state highway speed limits in the Whangārei and Kaipara districts next.
Speed limits on local roads across Northland roads are also under review by the three district councils as part of the nationwide Road to Zero safety programme.
So far the only area where a local review has been completed is Ōkaihau-Waipapa-Waimate North-Kaeo in the Far North.
While each road is considered separately, in general the new limits are 80km/h on sealed local roads and 60km/h on unsealed roads, down from the current 100km/h for both.