Setting speed limits

Council is a Road Controlling Authority and is responsible for setting speed limits on our local roads. When we set speed limits, we have to follow a range of national standards and rules.  We also need to consider the needs of the local community.

In the past, we could only set speed limits that were 50kph, 70kph or 100kph.  We now have a much wider range of speed limits that we can choose from. This enables us to set safe and appropriate speed limits that better match the road environment.

A key aim in setting speed limits is to reduce serious injury and fatal crashes while maintaining an efficient road network.

All speed limits on local roads are identified and set in our Speed Limits Bylaw 2019. When we review a speed limit, we are required to follow a process that is set out in the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017.

In setting new speed limits, we must consult the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), the Police, the Automobile Association (AA) and local communities. We are also required to consider a wide range of other matters such as:

  • Crash risk
  • The surrounding land-use
  • What the road is used for (eg: is it an arterial route?)
  • The geometry of the road
  • Whether the road is sealed or unsealed

Ideally roads with a similar look and feel to them should have a similar speed limit, no matter where you are in the district, region or country.

We are currently reviewing speed limits in the Whangārei District as part of a regionwide review of speed limits.

We are doing this in a staged process, focusing on areas where the evidence indicates that changing the speed limit will have the greatest impact on reducing fatal and serious harm crashes and improving overall road safety.

We are currently reviewing speed limits in the following areas:

  • Waipū South to Langs Beach (excluding the Waipū urban area)
  • Cove Road
  • All beaches in the Whangarei District, including Langs Beach

When we have completed the current review process, we will be reviewing speed limits in the Whangarei Heads area, including Parua Bay, Whangarei Heads Road and our harbour communities.