A National government will undo Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions, returning many state highways to 100 km/h from 80, and many local roads to 50 km/h from 30, while designing new highways for 110 km/h, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.
“Under the guise of safety, Labour has exposed its anti-car ideology by slowing down New Zealanders going about their daily lives.
“New highways like Transmission Gully and the Kapiti Expressway near Wellington were designed for vehicles to travel at 110 km/h but Labour has mostly imposed a 100 km/h speed limit. Both roads will rise to 110 km/h under National.
“All around the country, Labour has cut speeds on many highways from 100 km/h to 80 by ignoring economic impacts including travel times, and by giving insufficient weight to road users’ and local communities’ views.
“National will repeal and replace the rules that set speed limits so that economic impacts – including travel times - and the views of road users and local communities count, alongside safety. We anticipate this resulting in highways going back to 100kmh speed limits, except where it would be unsafe to do so. Similarly, we’ll restore local roads to 50 km/h from 30, except where that would be unsafe.
“It makes no sense to have roads that can safely accommodate higher speed limits, only to require motorists to drive more slowly.
“The reductions which were part of Labour’s expensive ‘Road to Zero’ road safety campaign, have not worked. The road toll was 350 in 2019 when ‘Road to Zero’ was introduced, and it rose to 374 last year.
“Although Labour has had a single-minded focus on safety - alcohol and drug use is the number one contributor to road fatalities. National will encourage Police to increase the use of breath testing and we will fix roadside drug testing legislation so Police can effectively test drivers for drugs.
“We will also reduce the use of road cones and limit temporary speed restrictions where they are not justified. Temporary traffic management keeps roadside workers and motorists safe during construction or maintenance activities. However, excessive use of road cones and speed limit reductions - sometimes left in force when work is complete - simply slow traffic and frustrate drivers, without improving safety.”National will:
· Change the rules for setting speed limits with the expectation of reversing Labour’s blanket speed restrictions on highways and local roads, except where it would be unsafe to do so.
· Increase speed limits to 110km/h on the Kapiti Expressway and Transmission Gully, and on the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway if a current review finds that would be safe.
· Require contractors to minimise the use of temporary speed limit reductions at road maintenance sites at times when workers are off-site and risks to motorists are mitigated.
· Require reduced variable speed limits around schools during pick up and drop off times.
“New Zealanders are fed up with Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions. Everything has become more difficult under Labour and National is going to get New Zealand moving to increase productivity and economic growth.
“A growing economy will ease the cost of living and means New Zealand will be able to afford more of the public services we all want and expect.
“In three weeks, voters will decide whether New Zealand suffers another three years of mismanagement, with a Labour/Greens and Te Pati Māori coalition. Or New Zealanders can choose a stable National government that will manage the economy well, ease the cost of living and deliver tax relief so we can all get ahead.”