'Extremely happy': Auckland reacts to NZTA's u-turn on Waterview speed limit
Auckland residents have declared victory after speed limits on busy motorways allow for 100kmh.
Bradley Scales launched a petition five months ago to get the Northwestern Motorway speed limit back up to 100kmh – where it was before the billion dollar roadworks for the Waterview Tunnel began.
After public outcry the NZ Transport Agency announced on September 12 that it would backtrack on a reduced maximum speed of 80kmh around the Waterview Tunnel.
It was not known when variable speed limit signs on the Northwestern Motorway and State Highway 20 would be increased to allow for 100kmh, but backers of the change were celebrating.
"NZTA has finally listened and we have done it," Scales said.
He sat down at his home and had a "well-earned beer" the same afternoon.
Scales said he wrapped up his online petition, which he started while living and working in west Auckland, at 13,981 signatures. It would not be submitted to NZTA.
"I'm feeling extremely happy with with the overall result and it's a win for the Auckland public.
"It's good to know the community has the same opinion as me and demanded change."
He said he was originally skeptical about the petition but it was quickly backed by like-minded individuals.
At one point 4000 signatures were garnered in one day.
Fellow Aucklanders have commented on Facebook stating it it was "about time" it changed, there was "finally some sense", and "people power works".
But others were skeptical and said "I thought speed kills?" and 100kmh was too dangerous leading into the tunnel.
The tunnel would remain at 80kmh and it was unknown when, or if, a maximum 100kmh limit would be introduced.
Additional works to the network and a legal process, which was underway, had to happen, NZTA said.
West Auckland's Saten Sharma earlier said 80kmh was frustrating but applauded NZTA for listening to the public and making a quick decision.
"It's a fantastic outcome for everyone."
Wainui resident Scales said he couldn't see why at off-peak times it shouldn't go higher than 80kmh.
"It currently is quite clear when driving around midday down SH16 that the majority of traffic travelling is going more than 90kmh already."
He said a common sense approach would be to have 100kmh between 9am-3pm and 6pm-9pm.
Henderson driver Graham Wakefield shared a similar view and said the change was a "good outcome".