NZ's 110kmh highways revealed

New Zealand's top open-road speed limit is to go up on two stretches of North Island highways in December.

The NZ Transport Agency today announced the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Rd and the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway will increase to 110kmh.

The formal process to change the speed limit was now under way and the new limits would be in place by December 11.

NZTA director of safety and environment Harry Wilson said the two highways had been selected for the new limit because they were regarded as two of the safest roads in New Zealand.

Both had median barriers, no crossing roads, no tight curves and were two lanes in each direction, which significantly reduced the risk of serious collisions.

"The Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway have been designed and will be maintained and operated to the necessary standards to safely supportĀ 110kmh travel speeds," said Wilson.

"The Transport Agency, on behalf of the Government, is committed to making New Zealand roads safer and reducing the number of people seriously injured and killed in crashes. The increasing number of deaths on our roads is unacceptable, and the speed limit will only be increased on our very safest and most well-designed roads which can support higher travel speeds without compromising safety.

"We are working to create a safe transport system, which is more forgiving of human error, and for some roads this will likely result in current speed limits being reduced to improve safety."

Wilson said large signs would be installed on the two sections of the highways where the 110kmh limits were being introduced to ensure that drivers knew when they needed to slow down when the speed limit returned to 100kmh.

Any additional roads being considered for the new 110kmh speed limit would need full technical reviews of the safety aspects of the road and public consultation.

The sections of road with the new upper limit on the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Rd is between the Paengaroa roundabout and the Domain Rd interchange, and on the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway between the Cambridge Southern and Tamahere interchanges.

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