New Zealand to increase key highway speed limit

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-24 17:41:13|Editor: Yamei
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WELLINGTON, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Motorists will be able to travel up to 110 km/h on some of New Zealand's key expressways, made possible by the government's significant investment in new and safer roads, a senior transport official said on Thursday.

Associate Transport Minister Tim Macindoe said that the government has invested heavily in New Zealand roads, with a focus on making them safer and cutting travel times for motorists and freight.

"With our initial seven Roads of National Significance -- with enhanced safety features -- either complete or under construction, we can begin rolling out faster speed limits in certain areas," Macindoe said.

The faster 110 km/h speed limit will only apply to stretches of roads built to a standard where the higher speed limit is "both safe and appropriate," which includes having at least two lanes in each direction, a median barrier, no significant curves and no direct access to neighboring properties, he said.

The new Roads of National Significance are the country's safest roads -- with no fatalities to date, Macindoe said, adding that this change strikes the right balance between ensuring the safety of road users and faster travel times for motorists and freight.

"The government is committed to providing the infrastructure New Zealand needs as a growing country, and that's why we are spending over 30 billion NZ dollars (21.6 billion U.S. dollars) over the next four years on schools, hospitals, roads and other public infrastructure," Macindoe said.

The 110 km/h speed limit will be in effect on roads that already meet the criteria before the end of the year.