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The speed limit along a section of State Highway 1 just south of Christchurch will be permanently reduced next month.
From Wednesday, March 3, the new speed limit on SH1 from Templeton to Dawsons Rd will be reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h on both the northbound and southbound lanes near Trents Rd to the Christchurch Southern Motorway on and off ramps.
With construction of the Christchurch Southern Motorway stage 2 project nearly finished and the new Dawsons Rd roundabout now functioning, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency director regional relationships Jim Harland said dropping the speed limit to 80km/h is a "logical fit for the new road layout".
"This is the most appropriate speed to balance safety and the efficient movement of traffic through this corridor," Harland said.
"Significant changes have occurred at this location. We have thoroughly examined the new environment, considered community feedback and set 80km/h as the safe and appropriate speed for this corridor."
He said the lower speed limit will help regulate the speed of traffic travelling off the new motorway and into the Templeton township.
It will also create a consistent speed environment with side roads that makes sense to drivers, he said.
Police will be patrolling the area and electronic variable message signs will remind drivers about the new limit.
"While the change could feel inconvenient for some drivers to start with, the drop in speed is worth it," said road policing manager Acting Inspector Mike Jones.
"If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a crash in this area, the lower speed means you have a far greater chance of walking away, instead of being seriously injured, or worse."
As well as the lower speed limit, diagonal markings on the edge of the road will be repainted and extended as a traffic calming technique to visually narrow the road. The existing passing lane will remain in place and will be monitored by Waka Kotahi and police for speed compliance, overtaking and the number of passing vehicles.
"Speed increases both the likelihood of crashes and the severity of crash outcomes, regardless of what caused the crash," said Harland.
"Lowering speed limits on the road will make it more forgiving of human error so simple mistakes don’t cost lives."
The speed limit change follows consultation and engagement with police, AA, road user groups, and the public.
More information on the permanent speed limits and our consultation summary, including the submissions can be found here.