11 Dec 2017

Higher speed limits in force on two highways

8:46 am on 11 December 2017

Higher speed limits on two major North Island roads have come into effect today.

Waikato Expressway

Waikato Expressway. Photo: Supplied / NZTA

Drivers will now be able to travel at 110kmh on the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road on State Highway 2, and the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway on State Highway 1.

The Transport Agency received more than 10,000 public submissions on the idea.

The agency's director of safety Harry Wilson said the two roads were selected because they are the safest in the country.

"They're two lanes each way, they have median separation in the middle so if someone falls asleep or just lose attention for a moment they won't cross into the other side of the road and have a tragic consequence.

"There's guardrails, and areas to reduce speed before you hit a guard rail, are specifically designed to manage speeds."

RNZ reporter Laura Tupou travelled on the Waikato Expressway this morning and said once the car left the end of the 110 km/h stretch, it hit slow traffic traffic heading into Hamilton.

AA Motoring Affairs general manager Mike Noon said the increased limits are suitable for those two roads.

"These roads are the safest roads in New Zealand, they are built to the highest safety standard of any of our roads," he said.

"If these roads were operating anywhere else around the world, they would have limits of at least 110 - possibly more, so it's appropriate that the speed limits reflect the in-built safety of the roads."

Other roads in Kāpiti and Christchurch have also been tipped for the faster speed.

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