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Published: 2017-07-03 12:00:00

Waikato’s regional transport committee is supporting moves to lift the open road speed to 110 kilometres an hour where appropriate.

The multi-agency committee today signed off a submission on the NZ Transport Agency’s proposed speed limit setting rule which suggests the higher speed be available on approved roads.

The ability to set a 110 km/hr speed limit needed to be subject to the road meeting the very high standards proposed by the agency, such as it being a four-lane highway with median barriers, the submission says.

The submission notes the completed Waikato Expressway will meet the criteria for a 110 km/hr speed limit.

“This move seems a sensible measure providing it is controlled properly,” said committee chair Hugh Vercoe of Waikato Regional Council.

The submission says, however, that it’s assumed trucks will continue to travel at the maximum legal speed of no more than 90 km/hr.

“It will be very important that strong enforcement is in place to ensure cars do not travel more than 110 km/hr and trucks no more than 90 km/hr,” the submission says.

To ensure this enforcement is effective, the committee supports the rollout of new technologies to enforce speed limits on these higher speed roads. This could include greater placement of new technology speed cameras.

The committee also noted extra concerns about the safety of cyclists using roads where the speed limit is lifted to 110 km/hr. It said cyclists should be separated from general traffic flow and be catered for by cycle lanes on or beside such roads.