Speed limits on Christchurch to Akaroa road under the spotlight

Photo: Geoff Sloan
Photo: Geoff Sloan
Feedback is being sought on whether the speed limits along State Highway 75 between Christchurch and Akaroa need to be adjusted.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is asking the community if the speed limits are too high, too low or just right as part of a review into SH75, which starts on Halswell Rd, and a small part of State Highway 73. where Curletts Rd meets Halswell Rd.

Seventy-five people have been killed or seriously injured in crashes on the Christchurch to Akaroa road between 2011 and 2020.

Between June 23 and July 27, member of the public are being urged to let Waka Kotahi know about any part of the route where they think the speed limit is not right.

"Canterbury ranks second in New Zealand next to Waikato for the highest fatality rate from car crashes over the past 10 years," said Waka Kotahi system manager Pete Connors.

"Given the relatively small traffic volumes on the Akaroa highway, averaging 1500 to 5000 vehicles per day from Tai Tapu to Akaroa, the number of serious and fatality crashes is very high.

"Christchurch to Akaroa is our highest-risk route in terms of personal safety in Canterbury.

"Making changes to the speed is the simplest thing we can do to increase people’s chances of walking away from a car crash or not sustaining serious injuries or dying."

Some locals are already calling for speeds to be lowered in some places, said Connors.

"Anyone who’s made the trip knows that it requires care, concentration and safe speeds as the road varies from long flat areas to winding hills over Hilltop and around Akaroa harbour.

"The scenic winding sections have steep drop-offs and reduced visibility, and this is where motorcyclists are being killed and injured.

"Cyclists and pedestrians use the road in close proximity to passing vehicles. Unforgiving roadside conditions and narrow shoulders mean there’s little margin for error if mistakes are made.

"We’d like people to tell us about places that are hard to get to or from, how safe they feel crossing the highway or letting children walk or cycle to school, and if there are any other sites or information that we need to be especially aware of,”  says Mr Connors.

The information will contribute to a technical review of the route to help Waka Kotahi decide where speed limit changes could improve safety, and help shape any new proposed speed limits, which will later this year be formally consulted on.

Have your say
Share your views on the safety of the route during drop-in sessions at:

  • Te Hapua Halswell Centre on  Thursday 1 July, from 3 to 6pm.
  • Little River School on Tuesday 6 July, from 3 to 6pm.
  • Tai Tapu Hotel on  Tuesday 6 July from 10am to 1pm.
  • The Gaiety Hall, Akaroa, on Saturday 10 July from 11am to 2pm.

Find out more and share your thoughts at nzta.govt.nz/chchtoakaroa or via email.

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