Two round trips to visit her sick father in Waikato Hospital have cost Tess Coote $360 in speeding fines through the Waterview Tunnel.
"It's a money-making tube," says the Kingsland hairdresser, who says she was conscious of the 80km/h speed limit driving through the new $1.4 billion tunnel.
All to no avail. Coote received four speeding tickets in the mailbox for driving through the tunnel both ways on September 2 and September 3. She was clocked at speeds of between 92km/h and 98km/h.
Why, when you have a brand new, four-lane motorway, would you have to make the speed limit 80km/h?
Three of the fines are for $80 and one for $120 for allegedly driving at 98km/h.
Coote is baffled: "There I was being careful. It is quite hard slowing from 100km/h to 80km/h. I'm pretty sure I wasn't doing 98km/h."
She is going to ask to see photographic evidence from the speed cameras before paying the fines.
Coote supports increasing the speed limit 20km/h to 100km/h through the tunnel, saying it would improve traffic flows and avoid motorists having to slow down and watch their speed.
Hamilton man Bradley Scales started a petition to increase the speed limit around the tunnel to 100km/h. It gained nearly 14,000 signatures.
"Why, when you have a brand new, four-lane motorway, would you have to make the speed limit 80km/h?" he said.
The NZ Transport Agency, which has insisted the speed limit inside the tunnel is there for safety reasons, this week announced the speed limit around the tunnel would be going up to 100km/h again. No date has been set for the increased speed.
The police are due to release figures shortly on how many speeding tickets have been issued since the tunnel opened on July 2.
Coote said the new tunnel was awesome, "but I probably won't choose to take it now. I will probably go the long way".