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Signs of a safer future for Paihia

Reduced speed limits for the popular tourist town of Paihia are to be implemented this month as part of the speed review project for Northland.

Some district roads in central Paihia, including Kings Road, Williams Road, School Road, and Bayview Road, will have lower speed limits as of 24 June 2024.

At the same time, the New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi, will reduce the speed limit on Paihia’s main road, State Highway 11 (also known as Marsden Road) within the central business district. The speed will be reduced from the current 50km/h to 40km/h.

State Highway 11 at Te Haumi and a stretch passing the Bay of Islands College in Kawakawa will also have speed limits reduced.

“Council staff have been working collaboratively with NZTA Waka Kotahi to align the implementation of the Paihia component of the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa speed management plan changes,” says Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA) General Manager Calvin Thomas.

“This alignment reinforces safe and appropriate speeds on our combined networks and reduces the number of speed transitions for drivers in this area. Once the Paihia component is complete, the council will continue with the implementation activities for the new approved speed limits across the remainder of the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Area, creating a safer road environment for all users.”

Coordinating speed limit changes between the two roading agencies – Far North District Council and Waka Kotahi – has resulted in cost savings with fewer speed limit signs being required and clearer transitions for drivers between state and district road speed limits.

Mr Thomas confirmed that the Paihia speed changes will not be impacted by the Government’s recently announced consultation for the new Setting of Speed Limit Rule. This proposes that certain speed limits reduced since 1 January 2020 will be reversed by 1 July 2025.

The draft rule proposes that speed limits reduced since 1 January 2020 be reversed on local streets with widespread 30km/h speed limits surrounding a school, on arterial roads (urban connectors) and on rural state highways (which are the responsibility of NZTA).

“The current assessment is that the vast majority of council roads treated to date do not fall within these categories. It is noted within the consultation information that there will be a reversal of previous blanket speed limit reductions. Northland’s three district councils have not taken a blanket approach to reviews completed over the last four years. Instead, each road has been assessed individually and any speed limit changes have only been finalised and implemented following each council’s full consideration of public feedback obtained during formal consultation processes.”

The map below shows which Paihia roads are to have reduced speed limits.

Road speed limit changes:

  • Bayview Road – New speed limit 40km/h
  • Williams Road – New speed limit 30km/h
  • School Road – New speed limit 30km/h
  • Upper School Road – New speed limit 40km/h
  • Kings Road – New speed limit 40km/h
  • Davis Crescent – New speed limit 40km/h
  • Selwyn Road – New speed limit 30km/h
  • Joyces Road – New speed limit 30km/h
  • MacMurray Road – New speed limit 40km/h
  • Bedggood Close – New speed limit 40km/h.