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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Safer new speed limits have been set for State Highway 51 (SH51) from Marine Parade to Waipatu, which will help prevent people being killed or seriously injured on the road.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency consulted with the public earlier this year on proposed speed changes for this section of SH51, following calls from the community for speeds to be lowered and technical assessments of the road that showed it has a high crash risk.

“The region is growing fast and this road is one of the busiest in the area. People use it to get to work, school or the marae, to visit family or friends, or to go to the supermarket. Wherever they’re going, everyone should be able to get there and back safely,” Director of Regional Relationships Linda Stewart says.

“Safe speeds save lives. It can be the difference between someone being killed, seriously injured or walking away from a crash unharmed. That’s why we’re making the speed limits safer for everyone who uses this road.”

From 29 October 2021, the new permanent speed limits are:

Location Current speed limit (km/h) New permanent speed limit (km/h)
Napier to Clive:
From 190m south of SH51/Marine Parade (south of the intersection) to 260m north of Farndon Road.
100 80
Clive township (southern section):
From 50m south of Mill Road to 700m south of Mill Road.
70 and 80 60
From 100m north-east of St Georges Road to 350m south-west of Elwood Road.
70 60

Between 2010 and 2019, five people were killed and 28 seriously injured on SH51 between Marine Parade and Waipatu.

“Waka Kotahi is committed to creating a safe transport system so that we can achieve our vision of an Aotearoa where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. Tackling unsafe speeds is key to helping us achieve this vision,” Ms Stewart says.

“The new speed limits are the safe and appropriate speeds for this road and are more in line with speeds that people currently travel at on the road.

“Fewer serious crashes will also mean fewer closures, which will increase the reliability of this important route.”

Decisions on what the safer new speed limits will be were based on the technical assessment of the road, which considers things like crash history, road environment and speeds that people generally travel at, as well as feedback received during the consultation from the general public and stakeholders.

“We did not propose a speed limit reduction for the section of SH51 between St Georges Road and Ruahapia or extend the 60km/h section from Kenilworth Road further to include the Bay Espresso, due to the SH51 Waipatu Marae safety improvement project.

“This project is changing the road layout along this section of road, with widening and a flush median being installed. These safety improvements will enable safer turning and vehicle separation through this area,” Ms Stewart explains.

The consultation for the SH51 speed limit review was combined with the consultation and engagement of the State Highway 5 (SH5) speed review.

Waka Kotahi received a total of 455 individual submissions on SH51 speed limits during the consultation period. 192 of these are general comments that go across both SH51 and SH5.

“We thank everyone who provided their feedback on the proposed speed limits, as well as the councils, Police, the AA and Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand,” Ms Stewart says.

More information on the permanent speed limits and our consultation summary, including the submissions

A decision was made to complete the speed review for SH51 first as there was a smaller number of submissions and consequently less time was required to work through these than for the SH5 review.

Waka Kotahi will announce the decision for SH5 speeds once the review and technical analysis of the road is complete. This is expected by the end of the year.

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