Search
× Search

30km speed limit sign

Safer speeds

Setting speed limits is more than just a number on a sign – it’s all about people and how we keep them safe.

Have your say on safer speed limits

The survey is now closed.

Thank you for your feedback. Council will be considering the speed management plan at its meeting of 20 May 2024, after which we will provide an update.

Keeping people safe

We’re looking to reduce speed limits to 30km/h in our city centre and near schools and some marae to make it easier for people to move around and stay safe.

Some of these reduced speed limits will be in place 24/7, but most will be variable speed limits, which means they will only apply during peak times such as school drop-off and pick-up times. Variable speed limits help to minimise disruption and encourage people to stick to the lower limits.

We’re also proposing speed limit reductions at the State Highway 2 interchange at Domain Road and Tara Road in Pāpāmoa, as well as nearby Parton Road, and between 370 Welcome Bay Road and the Tauranga City Council boundary with the Western Bay of Plenty District in Welcome Bay. These are intended to ensure safe, appropriate, and consistent speed limits are in place to cater for the additional traffic these roads now experience.

Speed is the biggest factor in whether a crash is avoidable, or if it does happen, how serious it is. Speed limits have a key role to play in keeping people safe, especially people walking and cycling.

In particular, our local schools have told us that increased traffic and people driving vehicles at high speeds is a significant risk to student safety.

In response to this, we’re proposing to change the way speed limits have been set in the past, to a new, more flexible approach that better acknowledges the local conditions and the surrounding environment.

We’ve developed a speed management plan that will determine safe and appropriate speeds for our local roads based on how road users typically travel, the road’s design, the environment, and public feedback.

Speed Management Plan (13.2mb pdf)

What are the proposed changes?

A 30km/h speed limit on roads near the city’s 45 schools.

Some of these changes in speed limits will be ‘variable’ which means they will only apply during peak times such as school drop-off and pick-up times. Variable speeds limits will help to minimise disruption and encourage people to stick to the lower limits. Sixteen schools already have variable 40km/h speed limits – these are also proposed to change to 30km/h. Each school will be involved in determining the type of speed limit (permanent or variable 30km/h) and the extent of the speed zone surrounding the school. It may simply be a single road that runs past the school gate, or a slightly wider area that includes high-use areas.

A permanent 30km/h zone within the city centre.

This would include the area from Second Avenue to Mission Street east of Cameron Road, and Cameron Road between Hamilton Street and Brown Street. A variable speed zone of 30km/h is also proposed for Cameron Road next to Tauranga and Wharepai Domains which will operate when events are held there. A temporary 30km/h speed limit has been in place in the city centre since October 2018 between First Avenue and McLean Street, and between Cameron Road and the waterfront. It was put in place due to the significant growth and development projects underway and a desire to keep it simple for people driving, and safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The speed management plan proposes to make this 30km/h speed limit permanent.

A reduced speed limit near the city’s marae.

Individual marae will be given the opportunity for a proposed speed reduction outside their gate where possible, however if the marae is also located near a school, the 30km/h will apply if the proposed reduced speed limit goes ahead.

Speed limit changes on roads in the urban fringe.

Lower speed limits at the State Highway 2 interchange at Domain Road and Tara Road in Pāpāmoa, as well as nearby Parton Road, and between 370 Welcome Bay Road and the Tauranga City Council boundary with the Western Bay of Plenty District in Welcome Bay. These are intended to ensure safe, appropriate, and consistent speed limits are in place to cater for the additional traffic these roads now experience.

The changes would mean static or electronic speed signs would be installed in these areas to advise drivers to lower their speed. There is no intention to add infrastructure such as speed humps at this stage to assist with lowering speeds, with the exception of a few schools which are already included in some planned transport upgrades in their communities.

Electronic and static variable speed limit signs

Electronic and static variable speed limit signs

If the changes are adopted by Council, the new speed limits would be in place by the end of 2024.

See where the proposed speed limit changes are on these maps.

Speed limit change maps (13mb pdf)

Why do we want to make these changes?

As Tauranga has grown, some of the higher speed limits that are in place are no longer appropriate with the higher density of housing, vehicle volumes, and the mix of cyclists and pedestrians using the streets. Reducing the speed limits on these key roads and around school environments will make it safer for the community to move around.

As well as reducing the number of serious injuries and deaths on our road network, lowering speed limits provides access to a range of transport options that make it easy and safe to get around the city, as well as creating a healthier environment with lower carbon emissions and improved air quality.

The Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 has recently been amended by the new government, removing mandatory requirements for local Road Controlling Authorities (RCA) such as Tauranga City Council to implement speed management plans.

Commissioners decided at a Council meeting in February that we will continue to develop a speed management plan with community engagement.

FAQs

We want to improve safety on local roads, making it safer for people to move around.

Between 2018 and 2022, there were 21 fatal crashes and 148 crashes resulting in serious injury in Tauranga. In 2023 alone, there were two fatal crashes and 34 crashes resulting in serious injury. People walking, cycling, or using motorcycles on local roads were involved in more than 60% of these crashes.

We want to reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths on our transport network, with a target of a 40% reduction by 2030.

This is in line with established local and international research that shows that if a person is hit by a vehicle travelling at 30km/h, their chance of survival is 90%, compared to a 68% survival rate at 40km/h. This emphasises the importance of adopting speed limits to ensure the wellbeing of all road users, especially in busy environments and where high numbers of children are expected as they are more vulnerable in the event of a crash. Lower speeds also allow for shorter sight and braking distances which is important in complex, busy situations such as school pick-up and drop-off times.

Variable and permanent speed limit zones have been proposed around some schools, some marae, and the city centre. Variable speed limit zones typically operate when there are expected to be a high number of vulnerable users such as pedestrians and cyclists and the movements have a clear peak (e.g., school drop-off and pick-up times and during events). Variable speed limits revert to a default 50km/h or 60 km/h limit outside of those peak times. Permanent speed limit zones operate for 24 hours.

Reducing the speed limit to 30km/h in a school zone and the city centre has minimal impact on travel time. The main factors influencing travel time in an urban area, or the city centre are the volume of road users and delays related to intersections, and frequent use of pedestrian crossings, rather than the speed limit in place. Because school zones are installed over short distances, even if traffic can travel at the speed limit, the difference in travel time would be typically less than 15 seconds. This is supported by an analysis conducted by Auckland Transport which highlighted that the introduction of 30km/h on roads outside schools resulted in only slight time impacts. We’re committed to the safety of all road users, while also taking measures to prevent disruptions to your travel experience.

The speed limit on our state highways is set by the New Zealand Transport Agency – Waka Kotahi (NZTA) which has consulted on its draft Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan. The plan includes speed limits around schools and high-benefit areas on state highways.

State Highway Speed Management Plan (29mb pdf)

Any changes on state highways are outlined in the plan, rather than part of the Council’s proposed Speed Management Plan. We're working with NZTA to establish safer and consistent new speed limits for both local roads and state highways for the community.

The safe and appropriate speed is the travel speed that is determined to be safe for the street you travel along based on the function and design. You can find out more in the short video below by the New Zealand Transport Agency - Waka Kotahi (NZTA).

Safe and appropriate speed limits video

Key information

Project type
Transport and movement

Status
Underway

Neighbourhood
Citywide

Key dates

  • Council approval to develop Speed Management Plan

    July 2023
  • Technical work progresses on speed limit review for high priority areas

    September 2023
  • Workshop with stakeholders

    November 2023
  • Council approval to proceed with community consultation

    February 2024
  • Engagement with our schools and marae

    March – May 2024
  • Community Consultation

    5 April to 3 May 2024
  • Final Speed Management Plan

    July 2024

Who's listening

Transportation Team
Tauranga City Council

saferspeeds@tauranga.govt.nz 
07 577 7000

Resources

Document library

Sign up to stay informed

If you want to stay updated, sign up for our Kōrero mai - Let’s talk Tauranga newsletter.

Sign up to stay informed

Other ways to get involved

Tauranga is your city. We’re working to make it even better.

Tauranga City Council, Private Bag 12022, Tauranga, 3143, New Zealand |Terms of use|Privacy statement

Back To Top