Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Safer Highway Speed Limits For Milford Sound/Piopiotahi From Next Week

New safer permanent speed limits are just around the corner on a 19km stretch of SH94 from the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi.

The new speed limits will take effect from Wednesday, 11 August, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

“We want to prevent people being killed or seriously injured in crashes on this steep and challenging section of SH94,” says Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships, James Caygill.

“No matter what causes a crash, speed is always a factor in the severity of crash outcomes. No crash resulting in death or serious injury is acceptable, so it’s important we take every opportunity to address the risk,” he says.

The change is part of a Waka Kotahi initiative identifying highways where lower speed limits could make a big difference in saving people’s lives, and where communities are calling for change. Southland District Council and NZ Police both supported these safer permanent speed limits.

Consultation with iwi, the communities and business operators in Milford Sound/Piopiotahi and Te Anau, residents along the route, road users and stakeholders started about 18 months ago.

The section of highway between the Homer Tunnel and Milford Sound/Piopiotahi is one of the most mountainous and challenging to drive between Te Anau and Milford Sound.

Between 2009 and 2018 there were 76 crashes between the eastern entrance of the Homer Tunnel and Milford Sound/Piopiotahi. These claimed three lives and seriously injured eight people. Around 40 percent of the 76 crashes occurred in the 2016 and 2018 period, when traffic volumes were high, driven by the pre COVID-19 tourism boom*.

The changes

  • The current 100km/h speed limits on the eastern approach to the Homer Tunnel (1km) and western approach (2km) and through the Homer Tunnel (1.7km) will be replaced with a variable** 30-60km/h limit.
  • From the western approach of the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi (14km) an 80km/h limit will replace the existing mix of 100km/h and 80km/h limits.
  • The current 30km/h limit in Milford Sound/Piopiotahi itself will be extended to the east of the Deep Basin Access Road by 500 metres, currently set at 80km/h.

There were 47 submissions received on the speed consultation proposal. These were analysed and considered alongside safety assessments.

“Consultation feedback showed broad but not unanimous support for lower speed limits,” says Mr Caygill. “Some of the submitters wanted other measures to improve safety including addressing dangerous driver behaviour, increased Police enforcement and providing more safe passing opportunities.

“As well as these speed changes, Waka Kotahi has made other major safety improvements over the last three years including bridge widening, safety barriers, and curve signage,” he says.

Confirmed speed limit changes for SH94 Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound/ Piopiotahi
LocationCurrent speed limitNew speed limit
1km of highway east of the Homer Tunnel to the eastern tunnel entrance, through the Homer Tunnel (1.7km) and 2km of highway west of the Homer Tunnel to the western tunnel entrance.100km/h30-60km/h* variable speed limit
From the where the variable speed limit ends on the western approach to the Homer Tunnel for 14km to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi.80/100km/h80km/h
A 500m section of SH94 from Milford Sound/Piopiotahi to east of Deep Water Basin Road.80km/h30km/h

Map of new permanent speed limits:

* Before COVID-19, more than a million visitors a year travelled to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi. Between 2014 and 2018 there was a 35 percent rise in the average daily traffic counts on this route, with vehicle numbers per day rising from 670 in 2014 to 1040 in 2018.

**The variable speed limit will be used to safely manage highway issues including weather and rockfall events and vehicle crashes. Variable speed limit operating options are 30/40/60km/h.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Covid Vaccine Inequality, Plus Cowboy Bebop

Plainly, the Big Pharma model – where vaccine development, distribution, and pricing is left in the hands of the private sector - is not fit for purpose when it comes to meeting the global challenge of Covid vaccine coverage. Last week, Amnesty International released a major report on how the global response to the pandemic is only accentuating the inequalities... More>>

Government: Self-isolation Pilot To Start With 150 People

The goal of safely re-opening our borders and developing new ways for people to travel will start with a self-isolation pilot, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “As part of the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan announced in August, the self-isolation pilot will look at self-isolation for vaccinated travellers... More>>



Government: Details Of Interest Deductibility Rules Released

The Government has released the draft legislation outlining the details of the policy limiting the deductibility of interest costs on residential property investments.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the interest limitation proposals... More>>


Wellington Council: Mayor Suggests UK-style Arts-sector Insurance Scheme
It’s time New Zealand thought about an arts and events sector insurance scheme, not unlike that in the United Kingdom, says Wellington Mayor Andy Foster. His call follows the cancellation of the World of WearableArts 2021 show... More>>

Government: Next Steps To Improve Safety In Wake Of Whakaari White Island Tragedy
The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities... More>>

Land Air Water: Two-thirds Of NZ’s Monitored River Sites Ecologically Impaired

Today, the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) project has released the LAWA River Water Quality National Picture Summary 2021, alongside updated river monitoring result histories for more than 1500 individual sites across New Zealand... More>>

Power: Bill Changes Bring Fairness To Charges

A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

Government: Parks expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels