A date has not been set for the speed limit around Auckland's Waterview Tunnel going up to 100km/h again.

The NZ Transport Agency announced yesterday that the variable speed limits will be extended on sections of State Highway 16 and 20 around the tunnel.

"We're currently establishing what additional signage may be required and this will contribute to determining the time frames.

"There is also a process of consulting with stakeholders so we don't have timeframes yet," a spokeswoman said.


Asked if it could be weeks, months, this side of Christmas or next year, the NZTA spokeswoman said: "Just don't know at this stage."

Since opening in July, the limit has dropped to 80km/h in the area. Authorities have said the drop in the speed limit is in keeping with international best practice.

However, it has proven to be unpopular with many motorists.

NZTA's transport agency system design manager Brett Gliddon said: "We want to ensure that people's journeys on the motorway are as safe and easy as we can make them.

"Variable speeds are increasingly being used to match speed limits with the conditions and provide the right balance between safety and keeping traffic flowing smoothly.''

Speed limits inside the tunnel will remain at 80km/h to manage the higher risks associated with an enclosed tunnel environment.

A police spokeswoman said they would not be cancelling or waiving infringement notices that were issued for roads around the Waterview Tunnel while those roads were posted as being 80km/h zones.

"The safe speed camera notices we have issued around the tunnels relate to the speed limits that were in place at the time and which were clearly communicated to road users.


"Any officer-issued notices will have been issued by officers who considered the circumstances and related risks of the offence at the time."

The police have refused an Official Information Act request from the Herald on the number and details of speeding tickets issued inside the tunnel since it opened on the grounds the information will be publicly available in a quarterly report shortly.

There are speed cameras inside as well as areas around it.

Gliddon said authorities had been monitoring the operational and safety performance on the state highways around the tunnel since it opened.

They had also taken on customer and stakeholder feedback in the past few months.

Earlier this month, thousands of people signed a petition via the Change.Org website calling on transport authorities to increase the speed limit from 80km/h to 100km/h on Auckland's Northwestern Motorway.

The petition was started by Hamilton man Bradley Scales.

"Why, when you have a brand new four-lane wide motorway, would you make the speed limit 80km/h? To improve safety? That is the most ridiculous explanation I have heard,'' he wrote.