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Speed changes making it safer for school students and hospital visitors

Our Work Local Featured news

Safer traffic speeds are coming to most schools throughout our district over the next two months as NPDC installs more than 300 30km/h speed limit signs outside school.


The changes follow a decision made by Mayor and Councillors last year after consultation on the Safer Speed Review, in which 70 per cent of respondents supported safer speeds outside schools.


We are also trialling a 40km/h speed limit on streets around Taranaki Base Hospital. This is to manage the safety challenges of high traffic volume, high level of on-road car parking and road widths in this area.


“These changes received a lot of public support during the Safer Speeds Review last year. The public told us these safety improvements are important to them so we’re really glad we’re able to bring them in,” says NPDC Group Manager Planning and Infrastructure Kevin Strongman.


Says Sergeant Grant Sawtell of New Zealand Police’s Traffic Management Unit: “New Plymouth Police have worked closely with our partner NPDC to support these changes. I am sure that with the increased signage and changes, this will increase public safety and ensure safer journeys for everyone.”


Urban schools on roads with a high traffic volume will get a variable speed limit. That means the speed limit will be 30km/h around schools’ start and finish times, but 50km/h outside these times.


All other urban schools will have a permanent speed limit of 30km/h, while rural schools will have permanent speeds of either 60km/h or 30km/h, depending on the roads.


The new speeds outside schools only apply to schools on district roads managed by NPDC. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is responsible for setting safe speed limits on state highways and last year it consulted on changes to speed limits on state highways around schools, along with some other sections of highway.


A 40km/h speed limit will also be introduced on Saxton Road, in the New Plymouth suburb of Vogeltown, at the request of residents.



  • NPDC looks after 1,278km of roads, including 960km of rural roads.
  • We are investing $23.5m on road maintenance and renewals for 2022/23.