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Limited-access roads are sections of the state highway, usually bordered by residential or commercial properties, that can only be accessed from authorised crossing points. About 3850km or 37% of the entire state highway network are limited-access roads.

Accessways are points at which physical access is gained between a property and the state highway.

Why we create limited-access roads

We create limited-access roads in the interests of road user safety. This is because they're often in areas with the potential for unrestricted residential or commercial development – which brings with it more vehicles needing access and higher safety risks.

When we declare a road a limited-access road, we authorise existing crossing places to the road through notices to the landowners. The notices specify where the crossing places are in relation to the title boundaries.

Is my property on a limited-access road?

Check the map to see whether your property is on a limited access road. [Insert new map link here]

This may also be noted on your certificate of title (copies are available from the Land Information New Zealand website(external link)). 

If you're still not sure whether your property is on a limited-access road, contact the Transport Agency’s Consents and Approval team at consentsandapprovals@nzta.govt.nz who will be able to advise.

How does being on a limited-access road affect me?

If your property is on a limited-access road, vehicles and stock can only access the road from an 'authorised crossing place'.

Each parcel of land that has legal access to a limited access road and that does not have reasonably practicable alternative legal access to a local road, is entitled to one crossing place. The Transport Agency will specify the location of crossing place.  

You'll need to contact us if you're seeking to:

  • obtain an authorised crossing place to a parcel of land that had no formed access at the time the highway was declared a limited-access road
  • add crossing places to your property
  • change a crossing place layout, use or location
  • subdivide your property or alter the land use (eg from a residential to a commercial activity).

What if I need a crossing point to or from a limited-access road?

Early in your planning process, contact the Consents and Approval team to discuss what you need. And remember, if your plans require a resource consent, we'll be an 'affected party', so you'll need to talk to us before you lodge your consent application.

In most cases, we require access to be from a local road, not the limited-access road. However, if this isn't practicable, your proposal should minimise the number of access points from the state highway, and all of them must be safe.

We'll assess your proposal according to its effect on the state highway's safe and efficient operation. Our safety standards include criteria such as:

  • the adequacy of sight distances
  • the proximity and use of nearby existing access points
  • the effects of your proposal on highway traffic
  • the extent to which you've tried to obtain alternative access from another road
  • the mitigation measures you propose to take
  • works already carried out on the highway reserve.

For more information on our criteria for assessing development proposals refer to Appendix 5B of the Planning policy manual.

How do I apply to change or get a new crossing place?

If you want to apply for a new crossing place or change the use, location or construction standards of your existing crossing place, contact the the Consents and Approval team to discuss.

Your crossing place authorisation might include conditions that we consider necessary to ensure the state highway's safe and efficient operation. Once the authorisation is complete, we'll send notices about it to the owner and the occupier.

For more information on limited-access roads, contact the Consents and Approval team at consentsandapprovals@nzta.govt.nz

Contact us

NZ Transport Agency Consents and Approval team
consentsandapprovals@nzta.govt.nz

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