Skip to content
Community & Place

We deliver active modes design, sustainable transport and community engagement.

Digital & Spatial Technology

We create efficiencies with our spatial, software development, and digital engineering solutions.

Road Safety

We support positive safety outcomes from the street to the transport network.

Strategy & Planning

Delivering business cases, traffic modelling, economic assessments, and public transport innovation.

Transport Design & Engineering 

We deliver designs through collaboration with practitioners to shape transport solutions.

Land Development

We apply our transport expertise to support clients through the land development process.


Measure your employee’s commuting emissions.


A data-driven approach for road safety practitioners to identify risks.


Quickly and easily get detailed traffic and mobility data.

Partner Products

We partner with TomTom and HERE to provide transport and traffic data solutions.

More Products

Discover more of our unique products

Our Insights

Read our insightful blogs providing the latest information and trends.

Featured Projects

The work we do helps inspire positive change.


Find out what we are up to. 


Applying our research expertise to provide practical based solutions.


We deliver a range of webinars covering industry trends.

Our Team

Our team of skilled professionals provide insightful solutions and empowering advice.

Our Story

Since 2003, we’ve been providing transport solutions in New Zealand and internationally. 

Our Commitment

We’re connected and committed to our people, the community and the environment. 

Our Partners

We work closely with our partners to make a meaningful impact.

Our Awards

We showcase our awards to celebrate our people and clients.

Abley Apr 20242 min read

Our roads weren’t designed for 100kph

Recently there has been a lot of discussion in the media and elsewhere about how we can reduce the road toll and how speed plays a part in this. While the impact of speed on the road toll is well known – the faster you go the bigger the mess – the appropriateness of the speed limit doesn’t get much discussion.

A lot of people seem to think that a lot of thought has gone into the setting of speed limits, when in reality most of our speed limits are purely historical with little sound engineering behind them.

What this shows is that the historical thinking around speed limits had very little to do with safety, but rather about vehicle capability. If we were to continue this thinking today, the open road speed limit would be set at 130kph+ which is what the majority of vehicles on our roads can do – but for which our road network clearly is not designed for.

Over the last 10 – 15 years, as a more considered approach has gone into reducing our road toll, the discussion has shifted to setting SAFE and APPROPRIATE speeds. Just because a vehicle can be driven at a certain speed, it doesn’t mean it’s safe – the appropriate speed will consider the movement and place function of the road, its design and surrounding infrastructure. This approach, part of the Safe System philosophy, also recognises that drivers will make mistakes but that the mistake shouldn’t result in a death or serious injury.


Te Rapa
Waikato Expressway

As we apply this more rounded approach, and look at the engineering and design of our roading network and its usage, its quite clear that the 100kph limit is not appropriate. Its simply a hangover from the past which is contributing to our horrendous road toll. That is not to say we can’t have 100kph or higher roads, look at the Waikato expressway, but recognise it was designed for this speed – appropriate lane and carriageway widths, median and side barriers with roadside infrastructure, such as light poles, behind them. Compare this photo (right) of the Waikato expressway with other parts of the open road – notice the difference?

The simple fact is that the majority of our network was not designed for the 100kph and we are now simply trying to correct this relic of history.

So next time you get a ticket for doing 110kph in a 100kph zone, don’t complain to the officer about how your speed was ‘safe’, thank them for letting you off lightly, as the safe and appropriate speed is, in reality, likely to be 70 or 80kph. After all, they are also just trying to keep you safe.