Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced today that the New Zealand Government will back down from its plan to cut the speed limit on most of the country’s state highways.
The Government now only plans to focus on the “most dangerous 1 per cent” of state highways as it switches its focus to recovery and rebuild efforts of flood and slip damaged roads following Cyclone Gabrielle.
“That means speed limits will reduce in the places where there are the highest numbers of deaths and injuries and where local communities support change,” Hipkins said.
“We will continue to make targeted reductions in the areas immediately around schools and marae and in small townships that a state highway runs through.”
The nationwide speed limit cut was apart of Waka Kotahi’s Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan which has now been thrown by the wayside in favour of supporting Kiwis struggling with the cost of living.
In the plan, it was outlined that much of the state highway system would have its speed limits changed from 100km/h to 80km/h which was part of the transport agency’s Road to Zero campaign which aims to reduce the number of deaths on our roads.
This would have seen approximately 500km of roads have their speed limits reduced but now only applies to 1 per cent of state highways.
The Government will save approximately $1 billion by getting rid of the plan alongside the many others it backed down from today.
Also on the chopping block in today’s announcement is the Government’s Clean Car Upgrade programme which aimed to move low to mid-income families out of high emitting vehicles into greener hybrids and electric vehicles.
The Government also announced it will no longer lease clean cars to low income families as the communities it was set to trial the programme in are among the most affected by the recent barrage of severe weather.
Hipkins said the scheme isn’t the most effective way to increase the uptake of low-emission vehicles.