1. Agreed. In fact a lot of our roads have the wrong speed limit. What’s the point in policing a 4 km tolerance on a speed limit that is wrong? Why is the speed limit on a high quality separated motorway the same as a narrow country road?

      1. Having moved here from the US about two years ago, this is something I said all the time when I first moved (and still often think).

    2. And 80km/h through the tunnel? Either make it 2 lanes through there at 80 or keep the speed at 100 all the way through.

      Regarding extending to Warkworth. One Saturday last month it was a nice sunny day, so we decided to go to Tawharanui beach. Unfortunately half of Auckland had the same idea and SH1 was crawling north from the Mahurangi turnoff. After sitting in that for about 20 minutes we decided screw it, did a u-turn and went back.

      The bottleneck is Warkworth. I’m not sure what the plans are, but the intersection with turnoff for Matakana/Leigh/Sandspit etc is horrible. The little 60 year old bridge before that is tiny. Best thing to do would be to bypass Warkworth entirely, go west of the Woodcock Industrial thing and for god’s sake make it 2 lanes each way.

      1. The plans for the $1billion motorway don’t fix this intersection. Like many you’ve noticed the key areas of improvement needed.

        Click on ‘our proposals’ above and choose ‘operation lifesaver’ for more information on one idea.

      2. They cannot mark out the 2 x northbound lanes through the tunnel as it would have to reduce to one lane on a downhill, semi blind section, which would have some very negative safety issues.

  1. The question about the speed limit that should be asked is “is 100km/h too fast on a undivided rural road?”

    Bypass (or otherwise fix) Schedeways Hill and the viaduct, bypass Warkworth, Wellsford, Te Hana, Kaiwaka and make some improvements to the Brenderwyns (or go around) would be a far more viable solution for Northland. And we could probably add in rail to Port Marsden, all for less that this short piece of motorway is going to cost. Remember of course that the proposed Warkworth to Wellsford section (including the Wellsford bypass) has been put on hold. It truly is the ‘holiday highway’. The benefits to Northland will be miniscule.

    1. I think that the answer is not necessarily, but on many of our roads it is.

      Surely a better system would be to have speeds on undivided rural roads set at 80 with a process needed to increase it to a maximum of 100, and on motorways a default of 100 with a process to go up to 120.

      And we REALLY needs to start enforcing keep left unless passing on motorways.

      1. agree sailor boy. Waiheke and Waitakere Ranges are good examples where they are really windy, blind corners, not particularly rural , and shared spaces with multiple users on the road- people walking on the road (no footpaths), cyclists,horses, tractors. Completely different driving to no chance of people, long sight lines, high quality roads. I’d take that deal -of your stay left on motorways and up to 120 mph, in exchange for 80k max on windy, country lanes and restricting overtaking in these deadly areas with more double lines and a bit of driver education. Surely bad overtaking is one of our biggest killers. And sometimes people need to put some music on and just chill out.

          1. 🙂 What is with the fastidious eye for detail and the speedy danger freak personality characteristics that are seemingly opposite but so often found together. I, on the other hand have no eye for detail, type too fast….but drive annoyingly slow.

  2. Nobody drives at the speed limit on any piece of motorway. They all go slower across all three lanes. That also includes police.
    Until there is proper education and enforcement on our motorways we, the drivers who want to travel at or slightly faster than the speed limit, are stuck with these morons.
    I am also not on the side of those idiots who think they are F1 drivers and can go a lot faster.
    In regards to motorways in general you have to look at the much bigger picture and stop localizing them. It is NOT a holiday highway. SH1 should be a multi lane highway/expressway/motorway ( whatever you want to call it) that should have been built decades ago between the main centers.

    1. We cant afford, nor do we need, a motorway the length of the country. Building it is just part of the cost. I suggest some reading on the issues facing the US and their extensive interstates and the funding problems they’re facing to upgrade 50 year old infrastructure.

      1. Certainly in the North Island I say we do. In the SI then I might agree with you. I am just a motorist that gets really annoyed when I have to follow other motorist that don’t realize that they have an accelerator peddle.
        I am not an expert/professional like a lot of people that write comments on this blog so I don’t have the facts that you have. I just look at things in the pure commonsense opinion. If it is commonsense to do something then do it and stop waffling about it.
        As an example the northern motorway should be three lanes to Oteha Valley Road so get on and do it. Stop doing these piecemeal bits like they have just started. Mind you that bit certainly needed 3 lanes years ago.

        1. Why widen it though? It is only ever busy at the daily peak, people can always get through just not at high speed, and the road will never be clear 100% of the time, that isn’t how roads work.

        2. Yes let’s not base our transport decisions on science or facts, let’s base it on “common sense” – i.e. what a bunch of guys who only ever drive anywhere come up with around their bbq after a few beers.

          No, we tried that for 60 years and hence the cluster f*ck of a transport system we have now. If we had followed the recommendations in multiple consultant reports (e.g. De Leuw Cather report: http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2011/08/05/the-other-de-leuw-cather-report/) in the 1950s and 1960s, we wouldnt have travelling by car as our only option. However, then, as now, ideology (aka NeoLiberal “common sense”) won out over actual knowledge.

      1. You’d better look forward to some steep fuel tax increases then. Also, I would encourage you to read up on the issues that the US is facing in trying to keep their interstate maintained. We just don’t need 4 lane roads everywhere.

      2. I disagree, esp in the North Island – we probably won’t see SH1 being made into a dual carriageway during our time as that’s what should’ve been done in the 1st place – but it’s ridiculous our main highway is a single carriageway in some places. In my opinion – it’s worth the fuel tax increases to reduce accidents, travel times, increase tourism, freight etc. I suppose we’re already heading that way anyway with the Waikato Expressway, this Puhoi to Warkworth road etc.

  3. One of the problems on this stretch of road is maintaining a stable speed. Due to the rolling slopes and relatively blind corners it is a gift for revenue collecting speed camera vans.

  4. New Zealand doesn’t have the population to justify a motorway the length of the North island.
    Or if it does, then it also has the population to justify a vastly improved passenger rail system, in keeping with a country like Norway, which has similar population, similar terrain, but a far better rail service.

  5. For those that haven’t read the CBT submission on the highway, some key points:

    * If the project does not proceed, peak and offpeak travel times north will increase by only 2 or 3 minutes over current travel times. If the project proceeds, travel times beyond Warkworth will be 4 minutes quicker than currently.

    * For trips to Woodcocks Rd, Warkworth and Eastern Beaches, travel times will take a minute *longer* than they do currently if the project proceeds. This is primarily because the fastest route for these destinations is the existing SH1.

    * Traffic modelling assumes that there is no extra toll charge for using the 18.5km extension beyond the current toll road. NZTA have done no modelling for the scenario of a higher toll for using the extension, which would presumably result in less traffic using the new project route and more traffic on the existing SH1.

    * After completion of the new toll road, traffic volumes of the existing SH1 will be similar to what they are today. Users of the existing SH1 will be 3 or 4 times more likely to result in an injury accident, as no safety improvements are proposed.


  6. The government’s cost sharing agreement with Christchurch City Council reveals that the NZTA has committed $50 million per year for 5 years for the rebuild. After that it’s back to business as usual. Ipto facto the government has set a time frame of half a century to finish the rebuild. So, not only is the holiday highway bad for the nation’s environment and economic wellbeing it’s also bad for the nations ethical wellbeing.Not exactly surprising with the fat controller in charge of highways and the recovery. Kind of explains why CERA is using also manuals left over when the Detroit Planning Commission was scrapped after destroying Detroit City.

  7. Oops, point of the comment above…if NZTA doesn’t have enough money to help when a massive disaster strikes where is getting the money to “investigate” the holiday highway, basin flyover, transmission gully, etc.

  8. Honestly, I always manage to creep up to 120km/h. Whether I like it or not. I am like almost all motorists where in a traffic-free environment, will go at 110km/h. I end up creeping to 120 without any difficulty in control. I think NZTA keep thinking about the consequences. Motorway crashes are normally to do with excessive speeding by like 30-40km/h. This wouldn’t even happen if everyone was actually going at 120. Its more about the speed difference in my opinion. I see a lot of crashes are caused by speed differences between drivers. Increasing the speed limit to 120km/h on the Northern motorway (after the harbour bridge) would only free traffic if anything. I also agree with the fact that the smaller roads have the same limit as other roads. I am a fairly new driver on the road. I’ve been driving for just shy of a year and speed limits just piss me off a bit. There are so many narrow streets with a 50km/h speed limit. Not a lot of people will dare to do this, while the slightly wider streets have the same limit. If I were NZTA, this is how I would play it out. Move roads into 6 categories.
    1. narrow roads: 30km/h limit
    2. normal main roads: 50km/h
    3. the wider main roads with multiple lanes: 55km/h (This can just be merged with normal main roads)
    4. Normal motorways: 100km/h
    5. narrow rural highways: 80km/h
    6. good motorways (such as the new northern toll road and the western motorway): 120km/h.
    Also, I think the entire strip from the harbour bridge, all the way to market road being 80km/h is stupid. I think the 80km/h zone should end just past the spaghetti junction and then become a 100km/h zone.

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